Raptors’ Kyle Lowry: I was interested in signing with Spurs, but they didn’t want me

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Kyle Lowry might be the best player in Raptors history.

But entering last offseason, both sides sounded ready to part ways.

The Spurs, 76ers and Timberwolves were rumored potential destinations for Lowry as an unrestricted free agency. And apparently at least San Antonio was a viable destination to him.

Lowry, via Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News:

“It was real for me,” Lowry told the Express-News, “but it wasn’t real for them. That’s a part of the business that people don’t know. I would have loved to come here, but it didn’t work out. The conversation didn’t happen. If the conversation happened, I would tell you. But it didn’t happen.

“Not saying that I wanted out, but I did look at teams to see what was going on,” said Lowry. “I mean this place would’ve been a great place.”

Lowry probably received less interest than he expected last summer. The 31-year-old settled for a three-year, $100 million contract with the Raptors – a sizable deal to be sure, but well below his max. I doubt he’s unhappy to return to Toronto, but joining championship-contending San Antonio obviously held appeal.

The Spurs cleared enough cap space to land a star like Lowry by getting Pau Gasol to opt out, but they wound up just reinvesting it in their aging core. Maybe it was Chris Paul or bust. Dejounte Murray looks much improved as San Antonio’s starting point guard, and Tony Parker is recovering from the injury that made Lowry and Paul rumored targets last offseason. The Spurs will probably be fine, but they might have been better off with Lowry. He would have likely cost them Patty Mills (who re-signed last summer), not Murray.