Masai Ujiri Explained Why The Raptors Kept Kyle Lowry And Discussed His Own Future In Toronto

A strange week for the Toronto Raptors ended with an interesting roster result on Thursday afternoon. Following months of speculation about his future and a surprising blowout win that felt like a farewell on Wednesday, Kyle Lowry was not traded by the Raptors ahead of the NBA trade deadline. As such, he will be sticking around through the season, with unrestricted free agency currently scheduled to arrive this summer. Following the deadline, Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri visited with reporters and shed a bit of light on the decision-making process.

First, Ujiri took a fun dig at reporters, taking ownership of the fact that farewell stories couldn’t actually be written at this time.

Ujiri also made sure to note that there was real uncertainty entering the final hours before the deadline. In fact, he expressed surprise that teams did not end up meeting Toronto’s asking price for Lowry.

Ujiri did admit bias with regard to Lowry, who is perhaps the most valuable and beloved player in Raptors history.

The Raptors did make a relatively major trade, sending Norm Powell to Portland in exchange for Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood. To that end, Ujiri thanked Powell for his work and spoke highly of the veteran wing.

And, finally, Ujiri’s own contract status was a prominent part of the conversation. He downplayed any notion that his own uncertainty made an imprint on the moves, and also reaffirmed his love and affection for the organization.

All in all, it’s been a profoundly weird season for the Raptors, from their temporary home in Tampa to roster challenges, win-loss struggles and more. Now, though, there is a bit of refuge from the transactional cycle for the stretch run, though a major offseason looms with organizational decisions involving Ujiri, Lowry and more.