The Raptors appear set to mark the dawn of a new era with Pascal Siakam as the face of the franchise and that leaves Toronto in a state of flux as it looks regain their footing despite winning a championship.
Kyle Lowry has been as responsible as any for the success the franchise has enjoyed over the past six seasons, but entering the final year of a three-year, $100 million deal ($93M guaranteed) and on the back of both Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green’s departures, he and the team have plenty to evaluate about their futures.
On Lowry’s side of things, he’s taken a significant step toward his free agency process in the summer of 2020 by hiring Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports, who is also under the employ of Bradley Beal and Gordon Hayward among others.
Firstly, this was in some ways a necessary move on Lowry’s part as he looked to move on from former agent Andy Miller of ASM Sports, who had to relinquish his NBPA agent certification as a result of being linked to the FBI’s probe into college basketball.
Ten people were arrested by the FBI after the bureau reported its findings on a bribery scandal back in September of 2017, and while many players stayed with the company but moved on to different agents, it’s only reasonable that those with major decisions to make look to put themselves in what they deem the best position possible.
Lowry has always maintained winning as top priority and with Serge Ibaka (who also formerly employed Miller), Marc Gasol and Fred VanVleet all set to become free agents, he will have to assess whether he would like to finish out his career in Toronto or pursue a new challenge elsewhere.
The 13-year-veteran finished the 2018-19 season averaging 14.2 points, 8.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds and closed out the Raptors’ title winning run in style with 26 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds and three steals in the NBA Finals clincher over the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.
He managed this despite an injury to a tendon in his left thumb, something that required a procedure last week, but isn’t expected to keep him off Team USA for the FIBA World Cup in late August.
Anthony Davis and Draymond Green are the names that will lead the free agency class of 2020, while Lowry’s best friend DeMar DeRozan could also be a free agent if he opts out of his player option for the 2020-21 season.
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