In July of 2018 the Raptors parted ways with the fan-favorite DeMar DeRozan who along with Jakob Poeltl was traded to the Spurs for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.
That year Toronto won its first and so far only NBA championship while San Antonio exited the playoffs in the first round. DeRozan spent two more years with the Spurs before signing with the Bulls during the 2021 offseason.
Those two season in San Antonio were tough as the team failed to reach postseason. For DeRozan it was a different experience as he was used to going into the playoffs with the Raptors.
Speaking with a former NBA player JJ Redick on his The Old Man & The Three podcast, he revealed how playing for the Spurs felt for him.
“I felt like I was wiped off the map,” the 33-year-old forward said. “That took a toll, especially for something every single year going to the Conference Finals, Conference Semi-Finals, competing, winning 50+ games. It’s all a sudden don’t exist. It was like ‘Damn, what’s this? Hey, I’m here.’ That’s what I felt.
“Granted, I had great games, I developed in a lot of great ways as a basketball player, but in the same token, I just felt non-existent for those years. It wasn’t like we was on TV, we wouldn’t compete. It was so much to it that was a struggle. You hit it on those. I just felt like I was irrelevant.”
Last season DeRozan had his highest scoring season as he averaged 27.9 points, 52 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 36.1 minutes per game for Chicago. He also became an All-Star for the fifth time in his career.