Kyle Lowry, the All-Star point guard, is intrigued by the idea of joining the San Antonio Spurs in free agency next summer, according to a source close to the Toronto Raptors floor general.
Until recently, it was a foregone conclusion that Lowry would remain in Toronto on a five-year max contract, especially in the aftermath of DeMar DeRozan making a long term commitment to the Raptors this offseason.
Lowry, himself, has admitted that while the ideal situation would see him re-sign with Toronto, he is not ruling out the possibility of looking elsewhere next July.
“I think it should be a situation where a guy shouldn’t have to talk to another team,” the point guard told The Vertical in an interview.
“DeMar didn’t have the chance to talk to another team. For me, I think that at 12:01 a.m. on July 1 — something should be close. If not, I’m open to seeing what else is out there,” added Lowry.
Kyle Lowry + Spurs: A good match?
With Tony Parker entering the final phase of his career, the Spurs are seeking a long term replacement at the 1 spot.
They drafted Dejounte Murray this year but the rookie doesn’t appear to be ready to fill Parker’s shoes.
Lowry, on the other hand, would be an instant upgrade from Parker.
As of this writing, the Spurs have nearly $71 million in guaranteed salaries for the 2017-18 season. However, if Pau Gasol opts into his $16 million player option, the Spurs could find it tough to create room for a max contract for Lowry.
The Spurs would have to make some trades and maneuver some contracts to create room for Lowry.
Needless to say, Lowry would be expecting nothing short of a maximum-level contract. The Raptors are in a position to offer him the most lucrative five-year deal. But Lowry could be tempted to join the Spurs if he’s pursuing championships.
Replacing Tony Parker?
Recently, a Hoops Habit report suggested that Lowry would be the perfect long term replacement for Parker.
“Lowry would be a nice fit under Gregg Popovich. His tenacious playing style has often earned him comparisons to a pit bull. Like most Spurs players, Lowry is a dodged defender and system player.
“Even though Lowry attempted 15.6 shots per game last season, he’s a read-and-react floor general who gets his players into good positions at most times.
“The Spurs would be thrilled to replace Tony Parker with Kyle Lowry. No question about it,” opined the report.
Smart money would suggest that Lowry remains in Toronto.
“If you’re that franchise’s guy, and you’re the guy that they’ve been rolling with, and you’ve given that franchise everything you have, yeah, I think (contract negotiations) should be easy,” Lowry said in the same interview.
But if the Raptors struggle to maintain a top-3 seed this season, all bets are off.
Kyle Lowry, 30, averaged a career-high tally of 21.2 points, 6.4 assists and 4.7 rebounds last season.