This is the “silly season” in the NBA as unsubstantiated rumors are everywhere ahead of the draft and free agency and the notably quiet Toronto Raptors are not immune. While unrestricted free agent Kyle Lowry has been rumored to be unhappy and heading home to Philadelphia to play for the 76ers or somehow joining the over the cap Spurs in San Antonio, the All-Star point guard has been working out at the Raptors practice facility in Toronto.
“Kyle (Lowry) has been here working out and he actually just left (the practice facility),” Raptors president Masai Ujiri told the media on Tuesday. “I know what he has been telling me. I know I believe what he tells me, not the famous sources.”
After a recent article in the local media, Lowry felt compelled to respond.
I dont do this ever but :
Don’t believe what you hear !! Especially if it didn’t come from me, and that bs FOR SURE didn’t come from me..GN
— Kyle Lowry (@Klow7) June 20, 2017
“(Kyle Lowry) has been a part of our organization and he says he wants to come back,” Ujiri said. “I know speculation. We all have ups and downs. There are times when he’s been down. There are times when we are down. It happens to every team, every player. People go thru it. This is rumor season and everybody is going to make a big deal out of (everything).”
At the end-of-season media availability Lowry was asked if he’d be back next season and he diplomatically ducked the direct question, but he did say something that pertains directly to what’s happening today.
“I’ll be here (in Toronto) until June 14th, until (his son Carter’s) last day of school,” Lowry said. “So we’ll be here enjoying, once it gets a little bit warmer, enjoying this great weather.”
Not only is it a week later than necessary to be in Toronto, it’s only 10 days until free agency opens up and apparently he’s been hanging around with the Raptors the whole time.
While there are no guarantees and Ujiri admits, “there are probably five different scenarios we’ve looked at” heading into the draft and free agency, the longer Lowry sticks around in Toronto, the easier it is going to be to get his commitment to stay.
When Lowry was an unrestricted free agent three years ago, he received interest from the Heat, Lakers, Rockets and Mavs, but held off until the morning to meet with the Raptors and supposedly turned down more money from other teams. His reasons then are the same reasons he should be expected to re-up in Toronto once again.
“I don’t make a decision if I don’t have the support of my family. It just doesn’t happen,” Lowry said.
“Our locker room everyone pretty much everyone has young guys, young kids and we get a chance to talk about your kids and we get a chance to take a break from basketball and know that life is bigger than just basketball. Life is more about your family, your kids and it always makes you smile.”
In reality, nothing has changed over the last three years except maybe his relationships with his teammates have gotten stronger.