Toronto has proved to be a second home for Kyle Lowry. It’s the city he’s made a name for himself representing, and in return he’s given the city a basketball identity they can be proud of. But that might come to a close next season.
Kyle Lowry will hit his player option year after the end of this season, and he plans to take it. While many suspect that the 30 year old will stay in Toronto for the rest of his career, there’s no guarantee. As he enters his prime earning years, Lowry is looking to go to a team that can give him the biggest contract possible. While the Raptors would be wise to be the team to give him that money, we’ve seen bigger teams let players walk in the past.
“If you’re that franchise’s guy, and you’re the guy that they’ve been rolling with, and you’ve given that franchise everything you have, yeah, I think [the talks] should be easy,” Lowry told Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. “I think it should be a situation where a guy shouldn’t have to talk to another team. DeMar (DeRozan) didn’t have the chance to talk to another team.”
“For me, I think that at 12:01 a.m. on July 1 – something should be close. If not, I’m open to seeing what else is out there.”
Lowry clearly has love for Toronto, and it seems that he hopes to be able to stay. But he’s also clearly willing to leave if the Raptors aren’t willing to pay him the money he feels he deserves. Fortunately for Raptors fans, the team’s front office seems keen to keep him around at the moment.
“Kyle has been at the forefront of the Raptor movement,” said Raptors GM Masai Ujiri. “How he goes, we go. He has helped establish a culture that will grow even more. We really appreciate that. He is a winner, and we want to win.”
Lowry has had the best years of his career in Toronto. He’s pushed the team into the playoffs and made good runs with his opportunities. He’s entered the conversation as one of the best point guards in the league. If the Raptors want to continue their success, they’ll be wise to pay Lowry whatever it takes.