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The Sixers and Miami Heat are having talks with the Toronto Raptors to acquire the six-time All-Star point guard in a trade. However, Lowry, 34, wants some indication that a potential destination is willing to give him a two-year extension at a minimum $25 million a year, according to sources. He’s making $30 million in the final year of his Raptors deal.
Part of Lowry’s slow playing training camp was driven by an effort to maintain some control of his destiny. If the Raptors weren’t going to give him an extension, sources close to Lowry say, he was prepared to hold out and try and force a deal to a destination of his choosing rather than allow the club to control the timing. But it never came to that. Lowry was wise enough to recognize that $31 million payouts don’t come along every day for veterans heading into their 14th season, and the Raptors were sensible enough to avoid getting into a drawn out scrap with a player that has infused the franchise with his will and passion.
Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors have agreed on a one-year, $31 million contract extension that takes the five-time All-Star guard out of July’s free-agent market, agent Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports told ESPN. The extension guarantees Lowry two years and $64 million on the books — including the $33.3 million left on his expiring contract this season.
Toronto president Masai Ujiri, general manager Bobby Webster and Lowry’s camp had been motivated to hammer out an extension for months. Over the weekend, the sides closed on a deal that delivers the Raptors options as they evaluate how they’ll construct a post-championship roster — and delivers Lowry the opportunity to extend his stay with a franchise with which he’s wanted to complete his career.
“We are so appreciative of how Masai and Bobby handled every aspect of this negotiation,” Bartelstein told ESPN. “Once again, they displayed how they look after their players in a first-class manner, especially someone like Kyle who they recognize has such a legacy with the franchise.”
Lowry had not been enthusiastic about entering the free-agent market as a 34-year-old in July. Now he gets a deal that delivers him into some historical context: He becomes the first player older than 33 to get an extension that includes a first-year salary-cap hit north of $30 million.
All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry understands why Kawhi Leonard would leave for the Los Angeles Clippers, but the longtime leader of the Toronto Raptors has no desire to bolt Canada. “I want to be there — I would love to do a long extension, but we’ll see what happens,” Lowry said. “I’m here for USA Basketball and (to) support the guys and be around the group. I would love to be there long term, but we’ll have that discussion when the time is right.”
Lowry says he has not spoken to Raptors president Masai Ujiri about the team, just to check in about his injury. When the two do talk basketball, Lowry says finding a way to continue his career in Toronto will be a priority. “I want to be there,” Lowry tells SI. “I would love to do an extension, but we’ll see what happens … I would love to be there long term. We’ll have the discussion when the time is right.”
Chris Mannix: Kyle Lowry tells @SInow that he has had no conversations with the Raptors about his future. Says he is open to signing an extension and would like to be in Toronto long term.
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June 28, 2022 | 11:28 am EDT Update
Matej Sportinfo: Luka and Goran were asked about the possibility of them playing together in Dallas next season. Luka: “I would like to answer that, but I think it’s a 100.000 penalty if I did. You should ask the GM about that.” Goran: “We can’t talk about it till july 1st.”
Westbrook’s agent Thad Foucher is planning to file the paperwork Tuesday, sources said. Westbrook has a Wednesday deadline on his option. Westbrook, an eight-time All-Star and 2017 NBA Most Valuable Player, enters the final season of his original five-year, $206 million contract.
June 28, 2022 | 11:13 am EDT Update
We’re talking about, you know, high-ranking people who believe that Kyrie is not this is not done. I don’t know. Yeah, let me just say this about the Lakers: He obviously was very interested in joining the Lakers, and the Lakers are very interested in having him. The problem is, is that the Lakers can’t really right now.
The Nets and Irving did come close to an agreement late last week, sources said, before talks stalled out. Sources said Irving had three potential opt-in-and-trade options available to pursue before making his final decision. Across the league, there are only five teams with projected salary-cap space: Detroit, San Antonio, Orlando, Indiana and New York, with all wanting to build around younger players or prioritizing other free agents. For their part, the Lakers were much more motivated to have Irving sign as a free agent than they were in acquiring the three-time All-NBA guard via trade, sources said. And as Irving went through his opt-in-and-trade options — as well as the potential of joining the Lakers in free agency — the decision to return to Brooklyn crystalized.
Irving’s agent, Shetellia Riley Irving, and the Nets front office held extensive and productive extension discussions over the past six days, with sources on both sides describing good-faith negotiations to reach a new deal. The Nets and Shetellia Riley Irving worked through various proposals, including a two-year max extension that included incentives based on games played as well as a four-year max that included two years guaranteed and triggers for years three and four based on the games played in years one and two, sources said. Irving showed a willingness to accept an incentive-based deal before a final counter was made to the Nets, according to sources: a short-term contract extension protecting both sides with a player option. Brooklyn declined.
Several teams are expected to continue to pursue Irving via trade, but his opt-in makes clubs consider more closely whether to trade assets in a deal for a player who will enter unrestricted free agency in 2023. Teams across the league understand Irving’s talent, and now a full season in 2022-23 allows him the opportunity to prove himself once again, then return to the market and earn a maximum contract next summer. Multiple sources with knowledge of his decision said Irving wants to prioritize winning a championship next season and show why he’s one of the best players in the league.