“I had a conversation with DeMar at summer league, and I really want to leave it at that,” Ujiri said Friday, according to ESPN.
“We spoke … I think maybe my mistake was talking about what we expected going forward from him. So, not necessarily talking about a trade but what I expect from him going forward, and I think that’s where the gap was.”
DeRozan has maintained that he was lied to by the organization as he met with team officials in Las Vegas during Summer League play and believed he would not be traded.
“In my job, I always have to assume we’re going forward with the team that I have” Ujiri said.
“If there was a miscommunication there, I do apologize to DeMar and his family and his representation. It’s not what I meant.”
Ujiri says that the opportunity to land Leonard was too good to pass up.
“When you have a chance to get a top-five player, which doesn’t come very often, I think you have to jump on it,” he said.
Ujiri also addressed reports that state Leonard has no interest in playing in Toronto.
“(Leonard) didn’t express a lack of interest to not play in Canada to me,” Ujiri said on Friday. “A lot of these things are everybody has their own opinion about everything. … I haven’t gotten that sense from Kawhi Leonard or his people, and I’m going to give him that chance when we meet face to face.”
“I’ve had conversations with Kawhi, with his agent, with his uncle and everything has gone well,” Ujiri said. “I look forward to meeting with them face to face, and that’s our responsibility … to figure it out and to make them as comfortable as possible. … I’m confident. I think we have a good game plan, and we’ll see how that goes.”
Pacers Sign Myles Turner to Four-Year, $80 Million Contract Extension
Turner, an ascending player, poured in 12.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game last season for Indiana, who with the new contract now protects their investment in building around Turner as their franchise player.
Celtics’ Terry Rozier Rejected Contract Extension Offer
Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier rejected a contract extension from the team that would have paid him roughly $12 million annually, according to a report from A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.
Rozier’s decision to decline the contract offer was a decision made by him and his management team.
“I’m in a great situation,” Rozier said, according to NBC Sports Boston. “My team felt it wasn’t good for me to sign an extension right now. It opens my options a little bit, but I’m focused on what’s happening right now.”
Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis Not Expected to Receive Extension Before Deadline
The New York Knicks are not expected to give Kristaps Porzingis a contract extension before the end of Monday’s deadline, which will make the budding franchise player a restricted free agent next summer, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley.
Porzingis’ season-ending torn ACL and a desire to create as much cap flexibility so they can be major players in next summer’s free agency appear to be the main factors in the team coming to this decision.
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