Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, who is entering the final year of his contract, suggested last week that he’d love to remain in Toronto beyond the 2019/20 season and would have interest in signing an extension with the team. However, Eric Koreen of The Athletic believes it’s unlikely that Lowry and the Raptors will find common ground on a new deal before he reaches free agency next summer.
As Koreen explains, Lowry projects to be one of the very best free agents on the market next offseason, particularly if Anthony Davis re-ups with the Lakers. He’s also a five-time All-Star who just helped lead the Raptors to a championship. In other words, he’ll likely be expecting another big payday.
On the other hand, the Raptors are entering a transition year and are still trying to figure out what their post-Kawhi Leonard future might look like. With barely any guaranteed money on the books for next season, Toronto may prefer to maintain its flexibility rather than entering into a new agreement with Lowry right away.
Plus, with Lowry set to turn 34 during the 2019/20 season, it’s not clear how heavily the Raptors would be willing to invest in him going forward. While a contract extension is still a possibility, Koreen wouldn’t be surprised if those discussions are “put on hold for a while.”
Here’s more from around the Atlantic:
- With the Nets swapping one wealthy foreign owner for another, Brian Lewis of The New York Post suggests that the team’s willingness to spend won’t change much as Joseph Tsai takes the reins from Mikhail Prokhorov. However, Lewis expects Tsai to be far more visible around the Nets and the NBA than Prokhorov had been in recent years.
- In his latest mailbag for The Athletic, Derek Bodner explores the likelihood of the Sixers bringing draft-and-stash prospect Vasilije Micic stateside at some point, weighs the team’s ability to make another big splash on the trade market, and addresses a handful of other 76ers-related topics.
- After being a full-time starter for the Celtics in 2017/18, Jaylen Brown started just 25 of his 74 contests last season and saw his playing time reduced by nearly five minutes per game. Appearing on this week’s episode of The Michael Holley Podcast, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge praised Brown for the way he responded. “He might have handled a difficult situation better than anybody on our team last year,” Ainge said (per Dave Green of NBC Sports Boston). “Very mature kid, wants to be great, knows that his time is coming.”