San Antonio Spurs star DeMar DeRozan took the court for the first time not wearing a Toronto Raptors jersey, and although it looked weird at first DeRozan seemed to fit right in with the team that acquired via trade over this past summer.
DeRozan played 18 minutes and finished with seven points on 3-of-6 shooting.
“Just getting out there, lacing them up in front of the fans for the first time, it was fun,” DeRozan said, according to ESPN’s Michael C. Wright.
“I’m glad I got to get the rust and kinks out and [got to] go out and get that part out of the way. It’s going to come along. I’m not worried at all. I was out there more anxious than anything.”
DeRozan knows that the transition is a process, but believes things will only get better moving forward.
“As the next few days go by, the next few games, it’s only going to get easier and easier,” DeRozan said. “I expect I’ll be rusty. Just go out there and try to feel things out and understand what I can get better at.”
“It’s pretty much a given that team-oriented players, when they get into situation like DeMar’s in now, he’s gonna probably pick and choose a little bit,” Spurs head coach Greg Popovich said. “He’s gonna take his time, get the lay of the land, figure out his teammates, and in that respect I thought he was great. He looked for his stuff, he helped with his teammates. It was a great first outing for him.”
Teammate Rudy Gay understands what DeRozan is going through, joining the Spurs himself last season.
“We had a couple guys who have been there. We have them on the court and you throw DeMar in, and we could pretty much coach him just like I was coached last year,” Gay said. “It’s easier that way to keep a couple veterans out there with DeMar so he can learn where he’ll be most productive. The younger guys? They’re just playing, trying to find their way, and coach is trying to figure out where he can put them in the lineup and how our team can benefit off of each one of them.”
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.
Clippers Trade Wesley Johnson to Pelicans for Alexis Ajinca
In corresponding moves, the Clippers will waive Ajinca and guard Juwan Evans in order to ensure that they are at 15 player roster limit for opening night later this week, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Los Angeles will save $849K by swapping out Wesley Johnson for Alexis Ajinca and are now $3.9M below the luxury tax.
Suns Sign Jamal Crawford
The Phoenix Suns have added shooting guard Jamal Crawford to their backcourt as they signed the veteran to a one-year, $2.4 million deal for the veteran’s minimum, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
With the move, the Suns had to trim 3 players from their roster by the 5pm ESt deadline, and have waived guard Shaquille Harrison and forward Darrell Arthur and are shopping Davon Reed on the trade market as well.
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