During the 2016 offseason, DeMar DeRozan opted out of the final year of his contract with the Raptors, but quickly agreed to terms with the team on a new deal when free agency opened on July 1. If Kyle Lowry has his way, he’ll emulate the path of his All-Star teammate in 2017. Lowry tells Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical that he plans to decline his 2017/18 option, but hopes to re-sign with Toronto.
“If you’re that franchise’s guy, and you’re the guy that they’ve been rolling with, and you’ve given that franchise everything you have, yeah, I think [negotiations] should be easy,” Lowry said. “I think it should be a situation where a guy shouldn’t have to talk to another team. DeMar didn’t have the chance to talk to another team. … For me, I think that at 12:01 a.m. on July 1 – something should be close. If not, I’m open to seeing what else is out there.”
[RELATED: Offseason In Review: Toronto Raptors]
As Wojnarowski points out, Lowry isn’t issuing any sort of threat or ultimatum to the Raptors — his decision to opt out will simply be a reflection of the “robust” free agent market. The veteran point guard is currently set to earn $12MM in 2016/17, with a $12MM option for 2017/18. If he has another All-Star season and hits the market, there’s a very good chance Lowry will receive multiyear offers worth five to 10 times that amount next July, even at age 31.
According to Wojnarowski, Lowry “loves the life he has” in Toronto, and his preference next summer will be negotiating a new long-term deal with the team, preferably for five years. In training camp last week, the Villanova product expressed a desire to avoid talking about his contract throughout the season, so he’ll likely take an approach similar to the one DeRozan took a year ago. And if the Raptors are as aggressive in contract talks with Lowry as they were with DeRozan, it sounds like he won’t be going anywhere.