Dwane Casey on Kyle Lowry: “He’s done a good job of being in great shape. I don’t think the free agent year is going to have anything to do with his performance or putting pressure on his play.”
Kyle Lowry plans to opt out of the final year of his contract, he told The Vertical, passing on a $12 million salary in 2017-18 to join a point-guard marketplace that will include the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul and Golden State’s Steph Curry, who has already said he plans to re-sign with the Warriors.
Lowry, 30, loves the life he has there, the contending core, the endorsement opportunities, the manic fanbase and the chance to someday raise his No. 7 into the arena rafters. Somewhere on the summer market – Philadelphia, New York, perhaps the Clippers, should they lose Paul – there will be an offer in the neighborhood of a max deal for him. Nevertheless, Lowry’s preference is a painless, fast, five-year deal to stay in Toronto, to take him into his mid-30s with the Raptors. “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 [the talks] should be easy,” Lowry told The Vertical. “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.”
This is no ultimatum out of Lowry, no threat: It is simply the reality of a robust market, where All-Star players reaching the conference finals are compensated accordingly now. Ujiri makes no negotiating promises in public, but understand: Toronto hasn’t lost a player that it’s been committed to keeping. History’s on Lowry’s side here. “Kyle has been at the forefront of the Raptor movement,” Ujiri told The Vertical. “How he goes, we go. He has helped establish a culture that will grow even more. We really appreciate that. He is a winner, and we want to win.”
December 6, 2021 | 2:57 am EST Update
Given the way that (Patrick Beverley) has set a tone, given the way that he’s kind of changed a lot of the mentality and how well he has played especially defensively, I do think it’s a priority for them to try and keep him long-term.
Hield’s name is likely to come up multiple times between now and the NBA’s February 10 trade deadline, like it did during the offseason. He’s under contract for another two seasons at nearly $40 million, but with his declining scale money and his ability to launch from distance, there should be a market.
According to NBA insider Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel, Dragic has a preference, which is to join fellow Slovanian star Luka Doncic, in Dallas. Writes Winderman: “The sense is Goran works his way toward his preferred (and most viable) option of the Mavericks, to close out the season alongside Slovenian compatriot Luka Doncic. … Goran already has proven amenable to a bench role, something he thrived in with the Heat.”
Josh Lewenberg: To what does Siakam owe his big game tonight? “My brother has a kid, my niece, and usually I don’t like carrying newborns, they’re just so fragile. She’s 2 months old & I’ve been putting off picking her up. Yesterday I picked her up & she peed on me. I dunno, maybe it was that”