Kyle Lowry, who’s been sidelined since the All-Star break because of a wrist injury, can become a free agent at the season. Raptors GM Masai Ujiri said there’s “no question” that the team will try to bring him back, as Scott Stinson of The National Post passes along.
“You have to remember that, everything that has happened to this team in the last few years, Kyle has been at the forefront of that,” Ujiri tells Stinson.
Lowry was having an exceptional year heading into the All-Star break. “Before the injury, you could argue he was one of the top five players in the league this season,” the GM added.
It’s also arguable that out of all the teams to see a player go down due to injury, the Raptors suffered the biggest loss with Lowry being sidelined. The 31-year-old was the team’s leader in player efficiency and he was one of the best from behind the arc, which I detailed in an early season edition of Fantasy Hoops.
Lowry can become a free agent this offseason by activating the Early Termination option in his contract. All signs point to him doing just that, which means he would turn down his 2017/18 $12MM salary. Stinson believes it’s fair to wonder whether the team should offer a massive five-year deal to a player who will be 36-year-olds at the end of it. However, the scribe believes it’s a bigger gamble to try to replace Lowry, a player who’s Toronto unquestioned leader.
“The way he goes,” Uriji said about Lowry. “Is the way we go.”
Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- Holly MacKenzie of NBA.com examines how P.J. Tucker has helped the Raptors stay afloat in the Eastern Conference. Tucker, who came to Toronto at this year’s deadline, will be a free agent at the season.
- Shawn Long, who recently signed a three-year deal with the Sixers, was originally added to provide Philadelphia with depth, but by playing hard, he’s been able to carve out a role with the team, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Long started the season in the D-League, but his teammates believe he belongs in the NBA. “He’s an NBA player, man,” Gerald Henderson said. “He’s aggressive. He’s not scared. He goes out there and plays the same way he did in the D-League.”
- Jerryd Bayless will workout at the Sixers‘ new practice facility this summer rather than going home to Phoenix as he has done in the past, Pompey relays via Twitter. Bayless signed a three-year deal worth $27MM last offseason, but he suffered a wrist injury earlier this season, which limited him to just three games with his new team.