Appearing on HBO's The Shop, DeRozan explained he "didn't talk to nobody" and took a trip to Anguilla before receiving a phone call from Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich (warning: contains strong language):
DeRozan said getting drafted by Toronto was "the best thing that happened for my career" because at the time he was the only rookie on the team and looked at all the veterans around him while he was working on his game in the gym.
"I'm about to do what he doing," he said, via NBA.com's Gilbert McGregor. "I'm doing what he doing. I'm just like, doing my research on everybody. But I'm glad I took that approach because it was guys in my fourth, fifth, year still wondering like… 'Damn like, I ain't even been to the playoffs.'"
When the Raptors selected DeRozan ninth overall in 2009, the franchise had never won more than 47 games in a single season and had just one playoff series win in 14 years.
DeRozan, who made four All-Star appearances in Toronto, was part of five straight playoff appearances and an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2015-16 season.
He made an impact in his first season with the Spurs, averaging 21.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game to help them go 48-34 and reach the postseason for the 22nd straight year.