One of the major questions the Toronto Raptors face during the 2019-20 NBA season is whether or not they will keep the myriad of veterans they currently have on their roster. Guys like Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka are on expiring contracts, and as they both showed last year, they’re capable of contributing to a team with championship aspirations.
The primary player for whom this question existed was team legend Kyle Lowry, who entered the season with one year remaining on his contract and could theoretically help any contender that needed a shot in the arm in the backcourt. Perhaps he will still find his way onto the trade market, but early on Monday morning, it was announced that the team rewarded Lowry with a contract extension.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Raptors and Lowry agreed to a one-year extension on his current deal that will pay him $31 million during the 2020-21 campaign.
Breaking: Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors have agreed on a one-year, $31M contract extension that takes the five-time All-Star guard out of July’s free agency market, agent Mark Bartelstein of @PrioritySports tells ESPN. https://t.co/nkhme9AHes
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 7, 2019
Lowry came to Toronto in 2012 and has carved out quite the career en route to becoming one of the greatest players in franchise history. He’s averaged 17.4 points and 7.1 assists in seven seasons with the franchise, a spell that has included five consecutive All-Star Game selections. And of course, Lowry was instrumental in the Raptors winning the first NBA championship in club history last season — with Toronto boasting a 3-2 series lead over the Golden State Warriors, Lowry put forth a herculean 26-point, 10-assist, 7-rebound, 3-steal effort that cliched the title on the Dubs’ home court.
The move keeps Lowry from hitting free agency next summer as a 34-year-old point guard, something that Wojnarowski reported Lowry wanted to avoid. Instead, Lowry is staying put for now, while the Raptors will keep their All-Star guard around for a little while longer.