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NBA Free Agency 2012: Toronto Raptors Save Offseason by Getting Kyle Lowry

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 06:  Kyle Lowry #7 of the Houston Rockets drives past Avery Bradley #0 of the Boston Celtics on March 6, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Celtics defeated the Houston Rockets 97-92 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Ethan Sherwood StraussNBA Lead WriterJuly 5, 2012

It was a miserable free-agency period for the Toronto Raptors, as ESPN detailed the absurd contract they gave to Landry Fields just to ensure Steve Nash's arrival. As you know, Nash never came. The Canadian-born superstar skipped off to Los Angeles via the sign-and-trade in a shocking decision that probably had Toronto sports fans loving hockey all the more (via ESPN).

Cue Daryl Morey to the rescue! The Rockets helped the Raptors get a point guard for the price of some reverse-protected lottery picks and Gary Forbes, as tweeted by the Houston Chronicle's Jerome Solomon.

Houston is still in the re-re-re-building mode of carving space for that one, big superstar. Considering Kyle Lowry's friction with Kevin McHale, parting with his salary was a logical move from their perspective.

I'm not so sure on that logic, though. Lowry is 26 years old and recently posted a decent 19 PER. His offensive production is merely "good," but he's the rare point guard who pairs offensive production with lockdown defense. The Rockets have allowed fewer points with Lowry on the court for three consecutive seasons. 

Now, the oft defense-bereft Raptors will have Lowry guarding the perimeter and the shot-swatting Jonas Valanciunas manning the middle. Lowry is on a reasonable $12 million contract for the next two seasons and Valanciunas is locked into his rookie scale. It's a nice core going forward, thanks to Morey. 

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