Masai Ujiri insists he doesn't have an acrimonious relationship with Kyle Lowry following the Toronto Raptors' trade of DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard.
Ujiri told ESPN's The Jump that he has never done anything malicious toward Lowry but that if it was wrong to deal DeMar DeRozan, "Yes, that's what I did wrong."
"I understand what happened with DeMar," Ujiri said. "There are two things in this business that are tough. ... When a player leaves -- and Kawhi [Leonard] left. And then, when a player gets traded. Those two things are tough. And in our position, we have to do them, and we have to deal with them.
"And in a trade, it's tough to communicate with players in that manner. We have to communicate with agents and can't go and say, 'Oh, you're going to get traded.'"
Lowry remains loyal to DeRozan and his comments about Ujiri left a lot up for interpretation.
"Ah, he's the president of basketball operations. And that's it," Lowry said. "I mean, I come here and I do my job. ... He does his job, I do my job. Right? That's what you do."
Ujiri defended the move, which has helped Toronto secure a 21-5 record to start the season.
"We thought, 'We have to change. We have to be better,'" Ujiri said, referring to the Raptors' perennial ouster from the playoffs. "We have to be better; we have to win. The game is all about winning and treating people the right way. And honestly ... god bless DeMar. What I did wrong was trade him. Yes, that's what I did wrong if it's wrong. You know, like, we traded players, but nothing else I did; there's nothing else."
Ujiri was also effusive in his praise for Lowry's contributions and personality.
"It's been like that with Kyle since I came here," Ujiri said of their neutral but professional relationship. "We've never -- we don't have a confrontation. We don't -- I've never done anything wrong to him. It's just this kind of decision-making that we have to go through. And I know how Kyle is, so honestly, I love him to death.
"He plays basketball the right way. He gives it his all, you know. And I'm so used to it. And you know he has a good heart. And I know that I haven't done anything wrong to him. I didn't trade him."