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NBA players defend DeMar DeRozan’s loyalty to Toronto after his cold trade to the Spurs

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As each new cornerstone in the league is moved, we learn again that the NBA is a business.

The Raptors traded DeMar DeRozan, a 9-year homegrown, loyal talent who took a paycut in 2016 to stay with the franchise, for Kawhi Leonard on Wednesday morning. It’s a deal that has upside to make the team that much better, putting them in Finals contention, but it may come at the cost of league-wide trust.

According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, DeRozan met with Raptors officials in Las Vegas during Summer League and came away with the belief that he wouldn’t be traded. That obviously wasn’t the case.

DeRozan appeared truly upset, taking to Instagram to voice his disappointment.

DeRozan on Instagram: Be told one thing & the outcome another. Can’t trust em. Ain’t no loyalty in this game. Sell you out quick for a little bit of nothing... Soon you’ll understand ... Don’t disturb.

Other players from around the league joined in that sentiment, including Blake Griffin and Isaiah Thomas, two players who were also recently spurned by teams they were loyal to.

Anthony Morrow questioned the Raptors front office:

And plenty reacted to the coldness of the move:

Two of DeRozan’s former teammates claimed the city should build him a statue:

That’s the cold hard truth about the NBA, or any sports franchise really, that we learn more and more about as each star player gets moved. It’s a business, and the only things players are guaranteed are written in their contracts. Loyalty isn’t listed.