Rumors circulate Kyle Lowry looking to leave Raptors, he tweets “don’t believe what you read”

4 Comments

The buzz that Kyle Lowry was thinking of leaving the Raptors has been all over the NBA for half a season (at least). Potential destinations from his hometown of Philadelphia (not happening now) to San Antonio have surfaced as potential destinations.

Then on Monday came this from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Sun, in a piece about the crossroads the Raptors are at (and if they should pursue Paul George):

Kyle Lowry is a free agent, and multiple league sources say the all-star point guard has been grumbling about dissatisfaction with the Raptors for months. As of mid-May other teams were being told Lowry had “zero interest” in returning to Toronto, even if the Raptors offered a maximum five-year deal. Which since the club had no intention of offering a five-year deal probably made Lowry’s declaration easier to make.

Lowry responded on Twitter.

I’ve heard Lowry is conflicted. Which makes sense, big decisions are almost never easy and obvious.

Lowry went from good player to All-Star, face-of-the-franchise guy in Toronto, and he knows if he signs a four-year deal and plays it out, they will retire his number and he will forever be a Raptors legend. That has obvious appeal. Plus, the Raptors are good – a top-three team in the East, top eight in the NBA. Plus, he and DeMar DeRozan work well together. That’s hard to walk away from.

Where is he going to go where he can make similar money and play for a contender? If he’s gong to leave Toronto to win, those teams above Toronto are largely capped out, so he would be taking a pay cut (or said teams will have to strip down their roster to get him). He could get paid and run the show for a lesser team, but is that what he wants.

The Raptors are good but not better than the Cavaliers, and Boston has moved past Toronto with plenty of room to still grow. We may have seen peak Raptors, unless GM Masai Ujiri has something up his sleeve. Maybe Lowry is enticed by what he sees as greener (and less snowy) pastures.

He’s a guy to watch this summer, but he wants you to know there’s more than a “zero percent” chance he returns.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

Elsa/Getty Images
Leave a comment

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

AP Photo/Tony Dejak
Leave a comment

BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

2 Comments

Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

Elsa/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.