After leading the Raptors to a franchise best 48-win season, and carrying his team against the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the Playoffs, Kyle Lowry has cemented himself as an All-Star point guard. Coming off of career high averages of 17.9 ppg, 7.4 apg, and 4.9 rpg, while increasing his 3-point percentage to 38%, Lowry has drawn interest from multiple free agent suitors.
The Houston Rockets and the Miami have been in talks of signing Lowry, with both teams planning to make a chase for him. However, it does appear that the Toronto Raptors are still the front runners to keep Lowry, after talking of a 5-year extension. After the June 1st deadline, Lowry was contacted by both the Raptors and the Rockets, but it still remains to be seen what the Rockets have to offer. Due to the Raptors early-bird rights, they are able to sign Lowry for the most money. However, Lowry has made it known that his intentions are to play for a contender, which the Raptors are a few steps away from.
As for the Miami Heat, their first priorities are to re-sign the Big Three, as LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade, have all opted-out of their contracts with the Heat. Whether or not the Big Three will take a pay cut to clear some cap space for the Heat is still unknown. After the Heat's lackluster performance in the 2014 Finals, as they were demolished by the Spurs in 5 games, it is apparent that they will need to retool their line-up. With a glaring weakness at the PG position, Lowry would be a perfect fit. Although, it appears that the Heat will not have enough money to lure Lowry to South Beach.
The Raptors have currently put a 4-year/44 million dollar deal on the table. As the competition racks up in the Lowry sweepstakes, a 5th year in the contract may be needed to cement the deal. Returning to a young core of Demar DeRozan, Terrence Ross, Jonas Valanciunas, and Patrick Patternson could be promising. As this team has shown us what they are capable of, retaining Lowry would be a huge step forward in continuing a winning culture in Toronto.
As Free Agency continues, stay tuned on W2 Hoops for more NBA news..