Cris Carter critiques Toronto for how they handled the DeMar DeRozan trade

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In his reaction to the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs trade, Cris Carter critiques Toronto for how they handled the DeMar DeRozan situation, who was told he wouldn't be traded based on posts to Instagram early Wednesday.

- Meaty is a good way to describe it. There is a lot to unpack here. And I think before we can actually make a true assessment, you've got to see who is being dealt from both sides. Because as Woj said, there's large parts of the deal.

Initially, I think when you know that Kawhi doesn't want to be in Toronto, DeMar doesn't want to be in San Antonio, your instinct is to say this may not work out well. But for Toronto's side of it, I kind of like it. Prior to last season, in the offseason, Masai Ujiri said they needed a cultural reset. And part of that included revamping the offense.

They made a lot of changes. They had a franchise year. But they hit a ceiling. Everyone in the East is getting better. Boston is better. Philadelphia is better. Indiana is better. You can go down the list. And, in my belief of what Ujiri is doing here, he said, I'm going to roll the dice. I'm going to take a chance. It's a big risk.

If we believe that this might be our opportunity to get to the final with LeBron being gone, Kawhi is a player that could elevate the level of where they're playing at. And whether or not he believes that he can Kawhi to stay, that's a whole different story. But if Kawhi leaves them, that gives them an opportunity to, potentially, just break everything down and start from scratch, which is something that I believe has been tossed around for the last couple years within that organization.

- I echo those sentiments 100%. I think what happened today with this trade is, and we'll see what the other pieces are-- I think it's interesting that Woj said more players on both sides. So it's not just the Raptors including extra players, it's maybe Pau Gasol being on the move. Maybe Marco Belinelli being on the move.

But what we know is, the key pieces are you're trading out DeMar DeRozan, and you're adding Kawhi Leonard. For this year, it makes the 59 win Toronto Raptors better. It gives them either the best or the second best player in the conference. It gives them the ability to go into a series against Boston or Philly with the best player on the court in Kawhi Leonard.

And it has the added benefit of, if he leaves, you get to tell the fans, listen we did everything we could. But now Lowry is on an expiring deal, Ibaka is on an expiring deal, Valanciúnas is on an expiring deal, all of which will be the case after this season. We need to start rebuilding now around Fred Van Vleet, around draft picks. It's also why I'm curious what the draft pick compensation is. Because if I'm Toronto, I got no problem giving away my unprotected pick this year.

WOMAN: Right.

- But my picks in the future, that's how I'm going to rebuild this thing. The downside, if you're Toronto, is not just that you lied it would appear to DeMar DeRozan-- but who were the four best Raptors ever? Vince Carter, he left. Tracy McGrady, he left. Then there was Chris Bosh, he left.

This guy wanted to stay. He wanted to be there forever. And it's a cold world. It's a cold business. He signs an extension. They tell him we're not trading him. Oh, we can get Kawhi Leonard, even if it's just for a year? You got three years left. We're probably not good enough if you're our best player. See you later, DeMar.

Like, that's tough, and I don't know how that will affect other guys within the team, how it will affect his best friend, Kyle Lowry, from a basketball perspective for this year though. I like this move for Toronto.

- Um, I disagree with both of you. I don't think Toronto did what's best for the franchise. When you talk about not being able to keep star players, that's part of Toronto's problem. And when you have a star player that made a commitment last year-- when they were talking about rebooting or tearing it up last year. They made a decision. They gonna keep the coach. They're going keep him and the point guard.


- They're gonna keep both. They're gonna keep both of them. But now, all of a sudden, you have a face-to-face with him in Vegas, and you tell him, you're not going to trade him. So that right there, that's the general manager. So any other player that's deciding to go to Toronto, you need to know that your general manager will tell you to your face, I'm not going to trade you, and less than a week later be able to trade you.

And another reason why I don't like the deal is because I don't think that they've communicated with Kawhi. They haven't talked to him-- had one conversation with him or his team around him to maybe-- do they know if he's not going to come? Do they know of his injury status? Have they seen him work out?

So not knowing if a star player is going to show up and take the physical and the unknown of is he healthy, to me, that's why I can't grade this trade until I see all the other pieces. And is Kawhi going to show up? And I believe there's only a few people that can answer that question.