Sure, losing Kawhi Leonard in free agency was a massive blow to the Toronto Raptors, but it looks like the club was inching closer to potentially losing Kyle Lowry as well.
The point guard inked a one-year, $31 million extension with Toronto on Monday, but as Sportsnet’s Michael Grange reports, the five-time All-Star was reportedly ready to leave town had the team not given him a new contract. Lowry was set to become a free agent at the end of the 2019-20 season.
“If the Raptors weren’t going to give him an extension, sources close to Lowry say, he was prepared to hold out and try and force a deal to a destination of his choosing rather than allow the club to control the timing.”
Entering the 2019-20 season without Leonard, Lowry and Danny Green would’ve been extremely problematic for the Raptors’ hopes of repeating as NBA champions.
Grange also reported that part of the reason why the 33-year-old had been taking it slow at Raptors training camp was because of the on-going contract talks.
The 2019 NBA champ is entering his eighth season with the Raptors and, at this point, it’s pretty hard to picture him wearing another team’s colours.
By the sound of it, Lowry seems pretty content with his decision to remain in Toronto for at least another two years.
“I’m coming back to Toronto because my heart is telling me that it’s home — and because staying home, for me and my family, feels like the right thing to do,” Lowry shared in an article with The Players Tribune. “My heart is telling me that this is the best city in the world, with the best basketball fans in the world. It’s telling me that the Raptors can be a championship-level team, sooner than later. And I’ll be honest (and don’t hate) — it’s telling me that I’ve still never had poutine.”
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