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DeMar DeRozan sits down with Popovich, ready to be leader for Spurs

2018 USA Basketball Men's National Team Minicamp

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 26: DeMar DeRozan #35 of the United States talks with head coach Gregg Popovich during a practice session at the 2018 USA Basketball Men’s National Team minicamp at the Mendenhall Center at UNLV on July 26, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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DeMar DeRozan is still mad about the trade that shipped him from Toronto — a city he had repped like no other NBA star — to San Antonio. He’s not talking to Raptors GM Masai Ujiri.

However, everyone around the league I’ve spoken to — from other players to front office people and scouts — has believed that DeRozan is going to buy into what is going on and San Antonio and be a good fit for them.

On the final day of Team USA workouts in Las Vegas, DeRozan talked about sitting down with coach Gregg Popovich and being a leader for the Spurs next season, speaking to Tom Osborn of the San Antonio Express-News.

“We talked about a little bit of everything,” he said (of Popovich). “There will be plenty more talks, but it was cool to just to get a chance to talk to him here (away from the court).”

That’s Popovich’s way — he wants to get to know the person, not just the basketball player and encourages his players to be well rounded.

“I’m going into my 10th year in the league, so with the knowledge and everything I’ve gained in this league, if I can help the next guy, that’s what it is all about,” DeRozan said after the second and final practice of Team USA’s minicamp. “And I plan to learn from those young guys as well, so I am definitely looking forward to it.”

The Spurs are going to be good next season — this was a 47 win team that just added an All-NBA player. How well they will do in a deep and brutal Western Conference is up for debate, but anyone counting a Popovich team out does so at their own peril.