Updates from Wednesday, July 2
Michael Grange of Sportsnet has the latest news on Lowry:
“The meeting with [Toronto] went well,” a source close to Lowry told Sportsnet via text late Tuesday night. “Kyle is contemplating his decision and should let us know shortly.”
According to league sources the Raptors are comfortable going to $11 million for four years. The real decision will be what they want to do with the fifth year — an enticement they are the only team in position to offer as Lowry is a returning free agent.
Undoubtedly Lowry is holding out for a full fifth year, pushing his deal to $55 million.
Similarly, the Raptors are quite likely hoping to keep the deal to four years, or a low-as-possible guarantee for a fifth year.
Grange also discussed the potential of a move back to Houston:
But landing him in Houston at the kind of money sources say he’s expecting — nothing less than $40 million over four years, even in income tax-friendly Texas — would likely require the Raptors to facilitate a sign-and-trade, a non-starter for the Raptors unless Lowry tells them he absolutely won’t play for them anymore, which is far from the case.
Updates from Tuesday, July 1
Chris Broussard of ESPN reports the latest on the potential of Kyle Lowry moving to Houston:
Source: Forget Kyle Lowry to Houston. Rockets wanted sign & trade but Toronto won't deal bc they want to keep Lowry— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 1, 2014
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported more on negotiations between Lowry and the Raptors:
Kyle Lowry completed his meeting with Toronto GM Masai Ujiri and coach Dwane Casey, and mulling Raptors offer, league source tells Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 1, 2014
Earlier, Wojnarowski reported on the first team that plans to meet with Kyle Lowry:
Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey has traveled to Philadelphia to meet with free agent guard Kyle Lowry tonight, league source tells Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 1, 2014
Houston tried to bring back Lowry in a trade at the February deadline, but were rebuffed by Toronto.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 1, 2014
Another team is aggressively pursuing Lowry according to Wojnarowski:
Miami reached out to Kyle Lowry's agent Andy Miller tonight, and sides are planning to talk in the morning, source tells Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 1, 2014
On Tuesday night David Aldridge of NBA.com reported on what's next for Lowry after a busy day of visiting with multiple teams:
Kyle Lowry told Raptors today he'll take a few days to make up his mind. TOR still confident: "he knows us, and we know him," a source said.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 2, 2014
Updates from Monday, June 30
Brett Poirier of Sheridan Hoops reports that one team is finalizing a deal to sign Kyle Lowry:
Kyle Lowry is finalizing an agreement remain a member of the Toronto Raptors, reports @michaelgrange.— Brett Poirier NBA (@BrettNBA) June 30, 2014
Updates from Friday, June 27
Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher supplied a potential update on a Lowry-to-Miami sign and trade before retracting his report later in the evening:
My deepest and sincere apologies. My report on Lowry and a S&T between the Raptors-Heat is wrong. I should've known better. I could not...— Ric Bucher (@RicBucher) June 27, 2014
...be more embarrassed. I can't explain why someone would go the lengths "my source" did to set me up, but that's irrelevant. I allowed...— Ric Bucher (@RicBucher) June 28, 2014
my zeal to break a story take too much for granted. I'd like to think I'm better than that. Yesterday and today I was not.— Ric Bucher (@RicBucher) June 28, 2014
With how loaded the NBA currently is at the point guard position, Kyle Lowry should be a coveted free-agent commodity this offseason.
On Thursday evening, in the midst of the draft, Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher has received word of an explosive potential development:
Source: Toronto looking to S&T Kyle Lowry to Miami for cash and future picks. Part II: Bosh opts out, returns to Toronto.— Ric Bucher (@RicBucher) June 27, 2014
Now hearing that Norris Cole would also be part of the Lowry-to-Miami deal.— Ric Bucher (@RicBucher) June 27, 2014
Yes, Lowry could opt not to return to the Toronto Raptors after leading them to an unlikely playoff berth last season, instead taking his talents to South Beach to join the Miami Heat. Then All-Star Chris Bosh would leave Miami and return to the Raptors, where he began his career.
What's even more bizarre is that this deal would make sense for both sides, though Dime Magazine's Josh Eberley notes that the Heat's lack of size sans Bosh is something to consider:
Miami did not draft Napier to S&T for Lowry to send off Bosh. Bosh is the closest thing the Heat have to a big...— Josh Eberley (@JoshEberley) June 27, 2014
The Heat have a gaping hole at point guard. It was most glaring in the NBA Finals loss to the San Antonio Spurs, where Mario Chalmers and the platoon that spelled him were no match for the likes of Tony Parker and even Patty Mills.
Lowry could be that missing piece.
Presuming LeBron James and longtime Miami cornerstone Dwyane Wade return to Miami, Lowry would have an unprecedented shot at the Larry O'Brien Trophy. According to Basketball Insiders' Alex Kennedy, he's made no secret of his longing for such an opportunity:
I think the right situation is somewhere I'm winning and being happy, and honestly I want to play for a championship. I'm happy with making the playoffs and doing that, but the end game for all players should be a championship and that's what I want to play for. I want to play for a championship.
This sign-and-trade scenario may be a bit trickier to sell on Miami's side, since ESPN's Andy Katz reports that it traded for the rights to Connecticut PG Shabazz Napier at the draft:
Charlotte confirms it has picked Napier for Miami. So now Miami is picking for Charlotte.— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) June 27, 2014
However, having two solid options at the position in Lowry and Napier would be better than what exists on the roster right now. It might even be enough for Heat president Pat Riley to bring back James and Wade.
Bosh reuniting with the Raptors would be a nice, sentimental story and also provide him the opportunity to be more than a third option.
When he asserts himself, the versatile Bosh is a dangerous scorer. Being in a situation where he's wanted as opposed to playing third fiddle would benefit Bosh as he moves toward the back end of his career.
Plus, Toronto already has a stellar, playmaking point guard in Greivis Vasquez, who is entering a contract year and will want to prove he's starter material.
Lowry isn't exactly expendable, but this would be a perfect way for the Raptors to get compensation for him. They have a big hole at the 4 position, which Bosh would readily fill as he looks to reassert himself as a franchise player.