Kyle Lowry is remaining a member of the Toronto Raptors.
News broke on Sunday that Lowry would re-sign with the Raptors for a reported three years and $100 million. The news seemed to follow the signing of Serge Ibaka, who inked a deal with Toronto earlier on Sunday morning for a reported three years and $65 million.
Lowry, 31, had several reported suitors, including the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Philadelphia 76ers. Minnesota traded Ricky Rubio to the Utah Jazz on Friday, and signed Jeff Teague once free agency opened on July 1.
Lowry is coming off of one of his best offensive seasons of his career, even if it was a bit of a dip from his spectacular 2015-16 campaign. Keeping Lowry in Toronto was obviously a huge priority for Masai Ujiri, and now that the deal is done we will have to see what other moves Toronto makes.
With Ibaka and Lowry now signed, it seems as though some kind of trade will have to be made with the contracts on the roster. Particularly, DeMarre Carroll and Jonas Valanciunas, who eat up a whopping $30 million of space in 2017-18.
Toronto will also reportedly try to move backup point guard Cory Joseph, so it’s unclear about what their bench roster will look like moving forward. Toronto had an opportunity to grab the one seed in a down year for the Eastern Conference this last season, but failed to do so. With their main stars paid and a core going forward, it will be interesting to see how they flesh themselves out.
On one hand, the East has gotten significantly worse with the trade of Paul George and Jimmy Butler to Western Conference teams. The Cleveland Cavaliers don’t yet have a general manager, and we still aren’t sure at this juncture whether Gordon Hayward or anyone else will be coming to Boston.
While a locked up core doesn’t make the Raptors any better over last year — and a depleted role player unit doesn’t help them — it’s not as though their opponents are doing much in the meantime. Getting Lowry locked down was an obvious choice for Toronto and there’s no doubt fans in Canada will be happy to see him return.
Lowry helped make his own announcement with an essay over at The Players’ Tribune.