Raptors Re-Sign Kyle Lowry to 4-Year Deal
The Toronto Raptors made huge strides during the 2013-14 NBA season, ascending to the number three playoff seed and looking like one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference. Now they can safely bank on staying that way.
According to reports, Toronto has secured star point guard Kyle Lowry to a long-term deal, as the two sides agreed to a four-year, $48 million pact. The 28-year old lead guard had his best season as a pro last year, averaging almost 18 points per game, along with a career high 7.4 assists per contest.
The deal runs over four years, but Lowry will have a player option built into the fourth and final year of the deal, giving him the flexibility to opt out of the deal if he so chooses.
Lowry has proven himself to be one of the league’s best point guards, offering the potential to record a triple double on a nightly basis while helping out the Raptors in a number of areas.
A hot commodity on the open market, Lowry was getting serious interest from teams like the Houston Rockets and Miami Heat, but remained very open about his interest to stay in Toronto. Lowry voiced his pleasure about the chemistry within the Raptors team and publicly stated he felt Toronto was building something positive.
That solid progress may have been lost if the Raptors didn’t lock down their top free agent, however. Had Lowry gone elsewhere, the Raptors would have been inclined to make a big offer to free agent point guard Greivis Vasquez, while they were also in talks to potentially acquire backup point guard Jeremy Lin from the Houston Rockets.
Neither Lin or Vasquez are All-Star caliber players like Lowry, which could have stalled Toronto’s steady progress in the Eastern Conference.
With Lowry back at the lead guard spot, the Raptors can confidently roll into the 2014-15 NBA season with one of the league’s more talented starting fives. That lineup should consist of Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross, Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas. Toronto may also still try to retain versatile swing man Greivis Vasquez, but Lowry’s presence would guarantee a backup role that he may not be willing to embrace again.
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