USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Lowry became a better passer as the year went on.
2012-13 Statistics: 68 games played, 29.7 minutes, 11.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 40.1 field-goal percentage, 17.5 PER
2012-13 Salary: $5,750,000
There’s no doubting that Kyle Lowry’s first season with the Raptors was rocky at best. Not only was he forced into splitting time with Jose Calderon, he also dealt with a plethora of injuries, which limited him to just 68 games played this season.
Still, Lowry’s talent level is obvious. Not many other guards can provide the all-around game that he possesses, not to mention the mental toughness he brings to the team. Consider his first two games as a Raptor: In the first, he had 21 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and five steals, and he followed that with 28 points, eight rebounds and eight assists the next game.
Sounds very LeBron-like, doesn't it?
Much of the misfortune Lowry endured was not entirely his fault; had Raptors management traded Calderon during the offseason, Lowry could have maintained his confidence while improving his chemistry with his teammates without having to look over his shoulder every time he had a bad game.
For Lowry to rise up in these rankings, he needs to first decide what kind of point guard he wants to be, and then take full control of the offense. As he goes, so too will the Raptors.