Photo credit: Jacob Kupferman/Associated Press
Like many star players in their contract year, Kyle Lowry’s name has been thrown around in endless trade rumours. When you look at the track record of star players to play for the Toronto Raptors, their departures haven’t exactly been fairy tale endings.
Vince Carter and DeMar DeRozan were both traded from Toronto, while Kawhi Leonard, Chris Bosh and Tracy McGrady all left in free agency.
Making plans to leave?
Whether Lowry will actually be traded at the deadline remains to be seen, but there have been several stories that have given more life to these rumours. Earlier this year, the Raptors announced that they will finish the 2020-21 season in Tampa, Florida. It wasn’t too long after the announcement, that Lowry’s home in Toronto was put up for sale, and even recently sold.
Recently on The Bill Simmons Podcast, The Ringer’s Ryen Russillo told Simmons, “the word on that one is that Lowry has been telling everybody for over a month that he is getting traded, which is interesting that he’s already like ‘yeah, I’m out of here.’”
Responding to the media
These surrounding stories may be a cause for concern for Raptors fans, but Lowry and his agent Mark Bartelstein have been quick to respond. Lowry took exception to Russillo’s comments and even responded on his Instagram story calling those comments ‘lies’.
The Raptors have struggled this season, sitting out of the playoff picture with a record of 17-22. As we approach the NBA Trade Deadline on March 25th, there are a few teams that are reportedly “interested” in acquiring the Raptors six-time All-Star.
Part of the struggle with trying to trade a player like Lowry is trying to get back something close to his worth in return. The teams that are interested are contending teams and may not be able to give the Raptors an enticing enough offer to make Masai Ujiri pull the trigger on a deal. Sportsnet’s Michael Grange recently cited these reasons and many others, when asserting that Lowry would not be traded before the deadline.
Over the course of nine seasons with the Raptors, Lowry has shown loyalty and an unselfish attitude. Whether or not Lowry will decide to re-sign in Toronto in free agency this summer remains unclear. Before the start of the second half of the regular season, Lowry was asked about his immediate future with the team, and said “I will retire as a Toronto Raptor… one-day contract, hey whatever happens.”
The future remains uncertain, but Lowry has earned the right to decide if he wants to finish his career as a Raptor or help bridge the gap to a brighter future for Toronto.
None of the stars before him were able to leave Toronto on great terms, but Kyle Lowry isn’t like any of the other star players that have played for the Toronto Raptors. It’s hard to imagine Lowry in anything other than a Raptors jersey, but the writing may already be on the wall. Whether his time in Toronto comes to an end sometime before or after the March 25th trade deadline, one thing that’s certain is that all good things must come to an end.