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Kyle Lowry, unrestricted free agent, after Game 7 loss: ‘This is only the start for us and the Raptors organization’

May 4, 2014, 6:01 PM EDT

Kyle Lowry AP

Kyle Lowry was the heart of the Raptors this season, and demonstrated that in a heartbreaking Game 7 loss to the Nets.

He finished with 28 points, seven rebounds and three assists, and was given the ball with the clock winding down to drive to the basket for a chance at the game-winning shot.

It ultimately didn’t fall, and the Raptors were eliminated from the postseason by a single point.

Lowry seemed encouraged by the season that had just ended, however, and made an interesting statement as part of his postgame remarks.

“This is only the start for us and the Raptors organization,” Lowry said, via Josh Lewenberg of TSN.

The Raptors have many decisions to make in retooling the roster, but what to do with Lowry is right at the top of their list. Toronto was in talks to trade Lowry during the first half of the season, remember, and it had nothing to do with his ability or lack of fit with the Raptors.

Lowry is an unrestricted free agent this summer, and earlier in the year, when it wasn’t yet known if Toronto would come together to make the playoffs and then perform so well once they got there, the front office was unsure if the team would be willing to offer Lowry the type of contract he would command.

There were trade talks right up until the deadline, most notably with the Knicks, who likely could have landed Lowry in exchange for some combination of a young player like Iman Shumpert and a future first round draft pick.

Ultimately, New York believed the price was too high, and obviously, the way Lowry played this season, not pulling the trigger cost the Knicks a chance to make the playoffs.

It isn’t yet known which way the Raptors will go with Lowry; they’ll have cap space and will undoubtedly be looking to add talent to this group that played so intensely during the team’s first trip to the postseason in six years.

The contract offers that roll in might be bigger from another team than the one the Raptors are ultimately willing to hand out. But at least for now, it appears as though Lowry sees himself as a part of Toronto’s future.

  1. jzone954 - May 4, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    Wait this was the guy the Knicks were trying to trade for earlier this season? Ouch

  2. inhokewetrust - May 4, 2014 at 6:27 PM

    He’s soooo gone…..I wonder if Toronto is dedicated to winning and then going over salery cap…

    • atwatercrushesokoye - May 4, 2014 at 9:47 PM

      They have one of the wealthiest ownership groups in the NBA, and essentially are just a line in a balance sheet for MLSE (the Maple Leafs make a ton of $$$) given how desperate the city is for a winning team in any sport, and how they rallied around this team over the past 2 weeks, and the fact that the Raptors making or losing money (they made $28.8 million last year) has no bearing on any sort of profits for MLSE, they’ll absolutely spend whatever the GM feels they need to spend to improve the team.

  3. cantonb0und13 - May 4, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    Raptors will not be a playoff team next season.

    • bucrightoff - May 4, 2014 at 7:21 PM

      The East is complete garbage. They could be 10 games under ,500 and they’ll be fighting for the 7 or 8 seed. So they’ll probably be back

      • cantonb0und13 - May 4, 2014 at 7:47 PM

        Everyone is acting like the same exact teams will always make the playoffs. It changes every year. Watch a team like Orlando is going to surprise everyone. They can sign a key free agent to pair with Oladipo and Vucevic. Did I mention they have another high draft pick? They can also trade Afflalo to add more depth. No one expected Bobcats to make it to the playoffs.

      • bucrightoff - May 4, 2014 at 8:58 PM

        I didn’t say the same teams would make the playoffs, just that the East is very bad. It’s a very, very top heavy conference (in that Miami is the only team who I definitely think would make the playoffs in the West).

  4. ningenito78 - May 4, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    Just raw emotions. Say what you want about the Raptors but that crowd for the playoffs was just outstanding. It would be hard for any player to feel that way after a heartbreaking game 7 loss. Wouldn’t put much credence in that quote.

  5. Kevin S. - May 4, 2014 at 7:16 PM

    Remember what Roy Williams said after he lost to Syracuse? The dollars will talk in July.

  6. themagicfanguy - May 4, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    @Cantonbound While it’s nice to think Orlando will make a run, I think it’s more realistic to expect things after next year. We get two high draft picks this year, not one. If you go by the expected results then Orlando could get Wiggins/Parker/Exum with their first pick and maybe Ennis/Saric or something with the second pick. Add a good free agent and anything could happen but I’m trying not to get my hopes up yet.

  7. zacksdad - May 5, 2014 at 10:36 AM


  8. duhwighthoward - May 5, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    Best fat player in the league after Zach Randolph?

  9. uscoach - May 5, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    The Fan support in Toronto is really awesome. I bet there are some players that want to stick around, even if they are living in Canadia-

  10. canadatude - May 5, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    You heard it here first. Greg Monroe signs with he Raptors, teams with J V in a devastating front line.

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