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Report: Raptors likely to keep Kyle Lowry for playoff push

Feb 12, 2014, 5:54 PM EDT

Toronto Raptors v Los Angeles Clippers

The Toronto Raptors have been to the playoffs just twice in the last 11 years, and it’s been five years since their fans got to attend a postseason game. Only once in franchise history has Toronto advanced past the first round.

This season the Raptors are arguably the third best team in the East, a team with a real shot at making the second round. You can call that a dubious honor considering the season and you’d be right. However, a playoff run would be a great reward for a loyal (and larger than most Americans realize) fan base starved for wins. Consider it a detour on the rebuilding road, not a long-term change of plans.

Along those lines, the Raptors have all but pulled Kyle Lowry off the trade market, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

“We’ve heard it from [Toronto] that he won’t be moved,” a rival front office executive told Yahoo Sports.

While there are never absolutes – especially if a team makes an unexpectedly rich offer – Toronto officials and sources close to Lowry have emphasized lately that Lowry appears destined to finish the season with the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors.

This means the Raptors could well lose Lowry for nothing — he can be a free agent this summer and as we told you before Toronto is hesitant to give Lowry a deal in the four-year, $40 million or more range. But there is a good chance someone will. Lowry has the reputation of being a disruptive player in the locker room, but one that can play.

The second part of that is certainly true — Toronto is not talking playoffs without him. More than talking playoffs, the Raptors are counting on him leading them there.

  1. lakerade - Feb 12, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    Makes sense, baby steps. Making the playoffs is a bird in the hand, good for the fanbase and establishing a culture of success. Trading him, while doing so possibly hastens the “road” to actual contention, is far too blatant a financial and long term move with negative short term ramifications. A good showing (winning more than one playoff game) will be better for the franchise than what is available for trade right now. Go with it.

  2. tn16 - Feb 12, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    Raptors pull one over and sign king James next off season

  3. bhunter1995 - Feb 12, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    Lowry deserves ten million a year, if that’s his market value the Raptors should pay it. A point guard of his all around play style and quality is a rare commodity. He defends, plays big on the boards, can run an offense and score buckets, he isn’t a number one guy on a championship team but if he has the right pieces around him the Raptors can be contenders with him at the starting PG. Ross is following in the footsteps of another dunk contest winning high flying young two guard who became arguably the best player of the last 15 years (I’m not saying he will be kobe 2.0 but he has all star potential and if you watch him play he is so quick off the dribble and his athletic ability is insane). DeRozen in beasting and Valenciunis is getting better, he can be the defensive anchor/15 and 10 guy that almost every team needs. They should keep going with this core and then see what free agents they can get. Also remember who the GM is this is Masai, the best used car salesman in the NBA he can make trades that make fantasy league trades look fair they can succeed in the future without a top five pick.

  4. therealgrande - Feb 12, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    They should. In all honesty Masai Ujiri is a powerhouse and won’t move Lowry for anything less than what he wants. Lowry has played at an All-Star type level this year and Ujiri won’t give him up unless the deal is perfect.

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