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Saturday, January 11th, 2014 at 3:05 pm  |  26 responses

Raptors Reportedly May Keep Kyle Lowry, Make Playoff Run

 

Only two weeks ago, the Raptors were prepared to deal Kyle Lowry for future assets and tank the ’13-14 season. But Toronto’s post-Rudy Gay surge has the team “increasingly comfortable” with keeping Lowry and trying to make the Playoffs. Per ESPN.com:

For the first time, there are certifiable rumbles emanating from Toronto suggesting that the Raptors might well keep point guard Kyle Lowry for the rest of the season. Word is new GM Masai Ujiri continues to resist locking into any sort of firm position — leaving open the possibility of a Lowry deal if the offers suddenly get sweeter — but team officials appear to be growing increasingly comfortable with the idea that it’s better to go for what would be just Toronto’s third playoff berth in 13 seasons rather than try to do the absolute uber-tanking it would take from here for the 17-17 Raps to get into Andrew Wiggins range now.

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  • Saleem Rainman

    i thought this was obvious by now. Having said that, i think the next 12-13 games where the sched,which is is pretty easy, is going to decide for masai what to do…if we drop the ball, u gotta pull the trigger.

  • Saleem Rainman

    Timberwolves fans have said they wud trade Rubio for Lowry straight up, with maybe an added 2nd pick. what do u say Raptors fans? Risk losing lowry for nothing if he jets in the offseason, or get a young piece for him ?

  • JohnBall

    Rubio is one of the worst starting point guards in this league and is looking for a max contract supposedly LOL. I mean if they wanted to tank then yeah trade Lowry for Rubio.

  • JohnBall

    Anddddddddd this is why the Raptors will stay the worst franchise in all of sports. Make the playoffs during possibly the worst times in the Eastern Conference and miss out on the best draft class in 10 years brehs.

  • bobby

    i doubt any twolves fan is saying that. Rubio has been disappointing, but they would be fools to give up on him for kyle lowry….

  • Saleem Rainman

    Canis Hoopus(wolves blog) are all over that deal.

  • Dagger

    Except:

    1. The Raptors have played exceptional basketball since the Rudy Gay trade. Four of their five losses since the trade have come against the Spurs, Heat, and Pacers. Their starting five is statistically one of the best in the NBA.

    2. Their core players (Derozan, Ross, Valanciunas, Johnson, Lowry) are all 27 and under. Ross and Valanciunas are both 21; Derozan is 24. The upside on the roster is still high.

    3. It’s extremely difficult to tank in the East right now. The Raptors are currently at .500 (against one of the toughest schedules in the league, by the way). How are they going to out-lose teams like the Bucks without a fire-sale of all the assets they currently have? What will that do to the culture of the team, and the state of basketball in Toronto?

    4. There are strong signs that this year’s draft is overrated. Deep, yes, but it doesn’t look like there’s a franchise-saving Lebron or Durant in this draft. Should the Raptors really dump a bunch of talented young players in order to get a very raw Rudy Gay or Carmelo Anthony?

    Right now the Raptors will have cap space in the summer, and they might be able to resign Lowry to a decent contract (if his past attitude issues scare off really high bids). Their best option is to acquire/retain valuable assets, make small moves, and perhaps make a play to trade for a valuable veteran down the line. Less the Thunder model and more the Pacers model, in other words.

  • bobby

    it could make sense right now…but i believe lowry being an upcoming FA(not sure on that) and him prob not getting much better and Rubios potential make that deal seem a little silly

  • Mike Gilbert

    @ddegroot:disqus said it all, but you really don’t know what you are talking about. They simply aren’t bad enough to compete with the cellar teams of the East. Why wouldn’t they try to win?

  • Mike Gilbert

    Rubio’s got that upside. Buy low sell high.

  • VanCityBBall

    Do you really think even if they did trade Lowry the Rap’s would still be bad enough to even attempt a worthy tank?

  • Dagger

    He may have upside, but he’s also statistically the worst shooter in the history of the NBA.

    Like, ever: http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2013/1230/grant_rubio_chart_1152x972.jpg

    If his ability to score improves, he’ll be great. But he’s been playing professional basketball for a long time now. I’m not sure he’ll ever have a passable shot, and if not, he gives as much as he takes on offense.

    Either way, right now, and for the next couple years at least, I’d definitely rather have Lowry.

  • Ugh

    Mostly agree. Just to be pedantic, I think there probably are franchise saviours in this draft, but any team will have to be bottom 4 to get one of them. But yeah, the Raptors just can’t suck that much, so ultimately your point holds true..

  • Lloyd

    Do you think we can keep it up? We’re still missing a piece that puts us up there, an Iguodala kind of X-factor guy I think. Also, an offensive minded assistant coach would be very beneficial to counteract Casey’s defense, although the offense has been looking good since the Gay trade. Lots more ball movement. The bench guys that came over in the deal have been a pleasant surprise as well!

    I just don’t see us competing with the Pacers/Heat in a playoff series as is in the foreseeable future.

  • 2chainz

    I agree with everything you said but dont compare Rudy and Melo. Rudy is an overrated poors mans Kevin Durant and Melo is a top 5 player who needs a better supporting cast around him.

  • 2chainz

    It does not matter what you say because the Raptors will make the playoffs regardless and we dont know if there are franchise players in this 2014 draft yet so maybe you should stop jumping to conclusions before we see the full results.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    He was comparing Wiggins to a raw Rudy Gay and Jabari Parker to a raw Melo…

  • 2chainz

    he should have been more clear/specific.

  • Guest

    But even if they can’t win the east it’ll help them get tougher for next year. You gotta plant the seeds before you can get any crops.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    “Consider this, though: Outside of eight feet, Rubio is shooting better than players like Tim Duncan, Iman Shumpert, Lee, and Victor Oladipo. ”

    - http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/87263/courtvision-whats-the-matter-with-ricky-rubio

  • Dagger

    Well, I said I didn’t think there was a franchise player on par with a Lebron, a Durant, a pre-injury Rose, a Duncan: the kind of player who can single-handedly turn around the fortunes of a team.

    You think there are four of those guys in this draft? I might have agreed with you a few months ago. But now the picture looks a lot less clear.

  • Dagger

    Thanks for the caveat. If you’re the Raptors, would you make this trade? I’d be tempted, but I think I’d pull the trigger only if I suspected that Lowry had peaked and couldn’t be had at a reasonable contract next year.

  • Dagger

    Some trades, signings and, in particular, smart drafting will be required for this team to become a real contender. But there are some nice pieces in place, and it looks like this team is growing into something genuinely good. That’s a hell of a lot better than where we were a year ago.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Oh nah, I wouldn’t make any deals right now if I was Toronto, Or as I should say, Ujiri should do whatever he thinks is right. It normally is.

  • Lloyd

    The East is ridiculously weak though. I chalk a lot of their performance lately as momentum as well. They’re definitely looking better though and a push for the playoffs seems to be the only logical outcome at this point. Who knows, we might surprise someone we aren’t supposed to!

  • ConflictsofMy$oul

    This draft is definitely not overrated. People get this whole franchise changing thing twisted. LeBron didn’t take the Cavs to the playoffs until year three. It took two years, Russell Westbrook and James Harden for Durant to make the playoffs too.

    It took one season for D. Wade and Melo to take the Nuggets and Heat to the playoffs. Of course LeBron is a better player than both, but people think it was a magical one season turnaround. Wiggins and Parker will change a franchise around even if it doesn’t happen in the first season.

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