In advance of an ESPN showdown between two Eastern Conference leaders – the Raptors and Sixers – in Toronto on Wednesday night, Kyle Lowry sat down with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (video link) to discuss a handful of topics, including the offseason trade that sent DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio and his relationship with Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri.
Acknowledging that he felt “some type of way on the personal side” after the Raptors sent his best friend to the Spurs, Lowry didn’t offer much when asked about where things stand with Ujiri.
“He’s the president of basketball operations, and that’s it,” Lowry said. “I come out here and do my job. He does his job and I do my job, right? That’s what you do.”
As Eric Koreen of The Athletic observes in a Twitter thread, Lowry and Ujiri may not exactly be buddy-buddy, but the veteran point guard has talked in the past about how grateful he is for the team’s investment in him. There’s also nothing to indicate that any lingering unease about how the DeRozan trade went down is a distraction for the Raptors or Lowry, who – by all accounts – has been a terrific teammate and leader this season.
Here’s more out of Toronto:
- The Raptors have been working hard for years to turn Toronto into an attractive destination for NBA players, and Kawhi Leonard‘s upcoming free agency decision will represent the next big test of the club’s place in the league, as Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com writes.
- In an excellent piece for ESPN.com, Jackie MacMullan takes an in-depth look at the unusual road to the NBA traveled by Pascal Siakam, who looks like an early frontrunner for this season’s Most Improved Player award.
- Despite their league-best 20-5 record, the Raptors have endured some injury woes, rebounding and shooting issues, and some “clunky stretches” this season, writes Bruce Arthur of The Toronto Star. In other words, there may be room for improvement. “There have been some ups and downs; it seems like a lot of ups because we’ve been winning a lot,” Lowry said. “The flaws that you see, they’re fixable. If we fix this, imagine how much better we could be.”