Kyle Lowry has 1 year and $30.5 million left on his contract before he becomes a free agent in 2021. After a heartbreaking loss to the Boston Celtics in game 7, it is time for the Toronto Raptors to decide what to do with their many free agents and current players on their roster.
Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster have a big summer ahead of them. As was displayed in this past series against the Celtics, the Toronto Raptors are obviously not equipped to be a championship contender with their current roster. Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, and Fred VanVleet are all unrestricted free agents while several role players have expiring deals as well.
The decisions the front office makes this summer will really show fans and the league the direction this team is heading in. In one of the worst kept secrets in the league, the Toronto Raptors are one of a few teams gunning for Giannis Antetokoumpo when he becomes a free agent in the Summer of 2021. That though is a year away, so will the Raptors not take on money and sell assets to keep cap space clear, or do they look at their roster and try and fine-tune it for one more run before the monster free-agent class of 2021.
The most intriguing question mark is that of Kyle Lowry‘s future with the organization. Lowry is undoubtedly the greatest Raptor of all-time and the undeniable heartbeat of this team. Saying that he would be a hot commodity for teams looking for a floor general who can put a team on their back and holds championship experience.
Trading Lowry could bring back a decent sum of assets in quality young players or draft picks if the Toronto Raptors turn toward the trade route. They would clear even more cap space and make it easier to sign Fred VanVleet to what will be a large contract.
Trading Lowry would probably mean the Raptors would turn away from resigning veterans Marc Gasol or Serge Ibaka as well which would give the young guys like Chris Boucher and Terrence Davis a chance to show what they can do with full-time roles. Maybe Lowry and Ujiri could even pull the old wink-wink, nudge-nudge I’ll be back next year.
Keeping Lowry would mean the Toronto Raptors see themselves as competitors in what will be a competitive East next year. It’ll also become an interesting team to watch in free agency to see if they decide to keep their expiring contracts or decide they don’t want to wait for Giannis and try and lure some lower-tier stars to Toronto. Plus, Antetokoumpo likes Lowry and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Lowry take a hometown discount after next year to make cap room for a big name like the Greek Freak.
This offseason may be even more important than next year, as the moves Ujiri and Webster make will either set the Toronto Raptors up for success immediately or in the future. Whatever happens, Lowry will forever be loved in the city of Toronto and will have a statue outside the Scotiabank Arena.