Kyle Lowry Discusses Trade Rumors, Says He 'Will Retire as a Toronto Raptor'March 11, 2021
Kyle Lowry intends to finish his NBA career in Toronto even if he doesn't finish the season there.
The Raptors guard has become a prominent name in trade rumors as the March 25 deadline nears, and Lowry continues to produce at a solid pace (18.0 points, 7.0 assists per game). He just doesn't want that to detract from his legacy in Toronto, where he helped guide the franchise to the NBA title in 2019.
"I will retire as a Toronto Raptor," Lowry told reporters Wednesday. "One-day contract, hey, whatever happens."
At 34 years old, Lowry's career is far from over. The same may be true of his days in Toronto.
Speaking to Michael Grange of Sportsnet, Lowry's agent, Mark Bartelstein, refuted any notion that Lowry wants off the Raptors.
"He has clearly not told anybody that he wants out of Toronto," Bartelstein said. "[Raptors president Masai Ujiri and general manager Bobby Webster] and I talk all the time. You can never put anything in concrete in this business, things change, but there is literally nothing to all this chatter about Kyle wanting out or telling his team he wants to go there. That's just not true."
That Lowry is slated to hit free agency at the conclusion of his one-year, $30 million deal hasn't done much to quash those rumors.
The Raptors are still very much alive in the playoff race, but at 17-19 exiting the All-Star break, that could fall apart rather quickly. Lowry understands this. He knows the business side of the NBA means teams will do what they can to make sure they're not losing valuable players for nothing. And he knows that could mean he's on his way out of town if Toronto doesn't start stringing together some wins rather quickly.
"Everyone has to do what's best for them, right?" Lowry said. "... Who knows what that is, right? Who knows what that's going to be? Who knows what that time is gonna tell?"
The guard confirmed he wants to end his season in Toronto. He can help control his own destiny by making sure the team starts off the second half of the season on a positive swing.