On July 11th, it became official that the Toronto Raptors had acquired point guard Kyle Lowry from the Houston Rockets. The move came a week after Steve Nash agreed to a sign-and-trade with the Lakers—a player Toronto had offered a contract to themselves.
Although Steve Nash would've been a fan favorite with the Raptors because of his exciting play and Canadian citizenship, trading for Lowry was actually the better move going forward.
While Nash is a two-time MVP, he is 38 years old and would've been over 40 when his deal expired with Toronto. While Nash has aged very well, it'd be difficult to see a 40-year-old averaging double-digit assists and running the fast break like he did in Phoenix.
Nash also is a very poor defender. Dwane Casey preaches defense, which is why the Raptors traded for Lowry and drafted Jonas Valanciunas last June. Nash is clearly a great leader, passer and shooter; but his run-and-gun style of play wouldn't have fit what Dwane Casey is trying to create with this Toronto team.
However, Kyle Lowry is quite the opposite, as he is not an especially gifted passer, but a player who works hard on the defensive end and can also rebound. In addition, Lowry has improved every season in the league and has been said to have an excellent work ethic.
With Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas and Landry Fields, Toronto will have three elite rebounders at their respective positions. With Andrea Bargnani playing over 30 minutes a game, getting boards had been a problem in the past for the Raptors, but the addition of Lowry will help Toronto gain more possessions.
Finally, Lowry is much younger than Nash. While signing the Canadian would've created a couple of exciting years for a relatively unknown Raptors team, Lowry will give them a better chance of going far in the postseason for the foreseeable future.
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