Atlantic Notes: Lowry, Raptors, Brown, Toppin, Sixers

The 2018 trade that sent DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio in a package for Kawhi Leonard ultimately helped make the Raptors champions the following year, but it created some hard feelings at the time, as DeRozan and his good friend Kyle Lowry felt blindsided by the deal. According to Lowry, when he neared free agency earlier this year, that experience helped him and the Raptors avoid a similar situation.

“Sometimes franchises have to do what’s best for them, but I was in a position where I had say and I had…I wouldn’t say power — but I had a little bit of, ‘Listen, it’s not going to be a good look if we don’t collaborate on this together,'” Lowry told Jonathan Abrams of The New York Times. “We all agreed that to be on the same page was the best thing to do, and that was that.

“With DeMar not having the autonomy of having a decision, I think it was just such a different circumstance. It prepared them to not do that to me.”

The Raptors were in touch with Lowry at the trade deadline when they discussed him with a handful of teams. After no deal materialized at that time, the team worked with the veteran guard in the offseason to help steer him to his desired destination (Miami) via sign-and-trade.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Nets guard Bruce Brown was expected to play a key role for the team with Kyrie Irving unavailable indefinitely, but Brown was out of the rotation until garbage time in Tuesday’s opener, writes Peter Botte of The New York Post. Head coach Steve Nash doesn’t expect that to be permanent. “He’s definitely going to play for us, he’s definitely going to be a part of what we do,”  Nash said. “I just think right now we’re looking at exploring some other things until we understand what we have. With Bruce, I know what we got. … We know what he brings, and he’ll be a big part of this team.”
  • Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post takes a closer look at Obi Toppin‘s promising sophomore-season debut and what it could mean for the Knicks if Tom Thibodeau becomes comfortable regularly playing the former lottery pick alongside fellow power forward Julius Randle.
  • Prosper Karangwa, who holds the role of VP of player personnel in the Sixers‘ front office, has been named the general manager of the Delaware Blue Coats, the team’s G League affiliate (Twitter link). Karangwa’s first task will be leading the team through Saturday’s draft — Delaware currently holds the first overall pick.
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