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The Toronto Raptors Should Let It Ride with Kyle Lowry

December 14th, 2013 at 2:53 PM
By Andrew McIntyre

'P1000116' photo (c) 2013, Matthew Addie - license:

Not even a day after Rudy Gay was traded to the Sacramento Kings was there another name being brought up in trade discussion. That name – Kyle Lowry. With Lowry becoming a free agent at the end of the year, many feel that he will not re-sign with the Toronto Raptors. He hasn't expressed a desire to leave the team, but veteran players who are constantly on losing teams want to find a way to win. Lowry's name has been thrown around in trade rumours involving the New York Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets and the Golden State Warriors. These three seem like the most interested teams, but there is certainly more interest around the rest of the league.

It was reported that Knicks owner James Dolan vetoed a trade a couple days ago involving Lowry. The trade was reported to send Kyle Lowry to the Knicks in exchange for Raymond Felton, Metta World Peace and either Tim Hardaway Jr, Iman Shumpert or a 2018 first round pick. It is unknown whether any other players or draft picks would have been involved or if the trade would have really gone down with or without Dolan. Whether the rumours are true or not, they haven't affected Kyle Lowry.

Lowry, 27, is having a strong season for the Raptors. He is averaging 14.2 points per game, 6.9 assists per game, 3.7 rebounds per game, and 1.7 steals per game. He has done a nice job running the team this year and has excelled in getting his teammates involved. He may not be the most skilled point guard, but he has the heart of a champion and leaves it all on the floor night in and night out for the Raptors. He has performed well in crunch time and put the team on his back on more than one occasion. You're probably wondering, if Lowry is playing so well, why would the Raptors get rid of him?

As mentioned before, being a free agent at the end of the season many believe Lowry won't resign with the Raptors. With him potentially walking away and the Raptors getting nothing for him in return, the popular thing to do would be to trade him before the deadline and at least get something for him. Although it may be the popular thing to do, is it the right thing to do?

Yes, Lowry is a free agent and he could very well sign with another team next season leaving the Raptors with nothing in return. However, we think the Raptors should take the chance and let it ride with Lowry the rest of the season.

Here are some reasons why:

1. The Raptors are in playoff contention: The Raptors currently sit one game out of the Atlantic Division lead behind the Boston Celtics. With other teams struggling in the Division, there is no reason why the Raptors couldn't end up first by the end of the year. They also sit 10th place in the Eastern Conference, only a game back of eighth. After the Rudy Gay trade, the Raptors have become a much deeper team and the ball movement has been so much better. The combination of point guards Kyle Lowry and Greivis Vasquez would be a great asset to the Raptors in their efforts of making the playoffs.

2. He wouldn't affect the cap situation: If he re-signs with the Raptors, it's not like he will be signing a massive contract. Based on his performance with the team, he would likely sign a similar contract to the one he is on now. He currently makes $6.2 million this season and we wouldn't expect Lowry to get anything more than around $8.0 million per year. With the team having several contracts come off the books at season's end, re-signing Lowry wouldn't put a damper on their cap situation or the future cap of this team.

3. He would free up cap space at the end of the year: If he doesn't re-sign with the team at the end of the year, he would create even more cap space for a team that is looking to do some spending in the offseason. Having another $6.2 million come off the books for the Raptors would greatly enhance their chance of landing a quality player or two. They could use the big chunk of money to sign an all-star calibre player or a few veterans that could contribute to the team.

4. He could be used as trade bait during the draft process:  With the 2014 NBA Draft looking as strong as it is, the Raptors could hold on to Lowry and try to deal him for a high-draft pick. Many teams are looking for a point guard and Lowry could be the answer for some of those teams. If traded for a draft pick, Lowry could potentially draw a lottery pick from other teams, landing the Raptors in the top half of the draft. If the Raptors have two quality first round picks, they could try to package another deal to move even higher in the draft or use those picks to draft two young players and re-build this team. 

Although many will disagree, we believe the Raptors should hang on to Kyle Lowry and let it ride with him the rest of the year. He could help lead them to the playoffs, he could be used as trade bait in the offseason and if he was to re-sign with the team he wouldn't overly affect the cap situation in any way. It only makes sense that the Raptors keep Lowry for the remainder of the season.

So what do you think? Do you agree or disagree with us? What do you think the Raptors should do with Kyle Lowry?

Let us know by commenting below or by sending us a message via social media.

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Tags: Basketball, BROOKLYN NETS, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS, Kyle Lowry, LOWRY, NBA, New york Knicks, RAPTORS, Toronto, Toronto Raptors

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