This season didn’t go nearly as hoped for the Toronto Raptors, with a 27-45 record that landed them well out of the play-in tournament. Now the focus will shift to the offseason, with the future of long-time point guard Kyle Lowry prominent on the agenda. General manager Masai Ujiri’s contract is up this offseason, and that’s a big deal too.
Lowry will be a free agent, and multiple teams (Knicks, 76ers, Heat?), seem ready to line up with an offer. A sign-and-trade is also possible, since signing Lowry outright won’t be easy for a lot of teams he’d entertain. At 35 years old, Lowry made one of his priorities clear.
Lowry also said silencing naysayers after a tough season will weigh into his free agency decision. That seems to open the door for a return to the Raptors.
That being said…..
Lowry openly acknowledged the obvious by saying “Money talks and years talk, let’s be real.” So credit to him there. Many players wouldn’t be that blunt on the subject in comments the media will regurgitate.
Lowry had another solid season this year, averaging 17.2 points, 7.3 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game in 46 games. As the Raptors embraced a tank, he sat out over half of their games after the trade deadline (including the final seven, all losses). Lowry said it was a “collective” decision for him to sit out in order to preserve his body. And, eventually, to allow the Raptors to evaluate younger players.
Lowry’s comment about money backs up earlier indications he will seek a salary close to the $30 million he made this year on the open market. A team being willing to meet that desire is the question. Even on a short deal (think two years, or a one-and-one with the second year as an option), Lowry may have to settle for less than what he wants. But he will be sought after. So maybe the market will yield $29 or $30 million per year, from a team in win-now mode who needs a veteran point guard.