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Rumor: Kyle Lowry not re-signing in Toronto?

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A disgruntled free agent looking for a change of scenery, perhaps?

NBA: Playoffs-Toronto Raptors at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The offseason rumor mill (and even trade market) is in full swing, and a new rumor regarding Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry surfaced this evening.

According to RealGM, opposing teams were told that Lowry has been growing unhappy with his situation in Toronto.

Lowry has been "grumbling about dissatisfaction with the Raptors for months", according to multiple sources.

Rival teams were being told Lowry had “zero interest” in returning to Toronto as recently as mid-May.

The Raptors, for their part, had no intention of offering a five-year deal to Lowry.

That last part is key, as the five-year contract is the main competitive advantage the Raptors hold over other teams in free agency. They have the ability to sign Lowry to a five-year deal worth north of $200 million in total, according to the new CBA. Opposing teams can only offer a maximum of four years with a starting annual value of 30% of the salary cap and 5% raises every season. That totals out to just over $150 million.

If Toronto is unwilling to offer a five-year deal, then their offer would be on equal footing with other teams like the Denver Nuggets, who could use a talent upgrade like Lowry. There’s no new information on whether the Nuggets would offer Lowry such a deal, but the most important factor remains that Lowry is available to be courted. Adding more options to the free agent pool, especially expensive options, makes it more likely that the Nuggets will walk away with a talented player or two during the free agency process.

With potentially as much as $44 million in cap space during this offseason, it would be wise for the Nuggets to explore every option as the draft nears and free agency approaches. Even with Jamal Murray and Emmanuel Mudiay under contract, the opportunity to sign a player of Lowry’s caliber doesn’t come around often.

Player Points Assists Rebounds Field Goal % 3-Point %
Kyle Lowry 22.4 7.0 4.8 46.4 41.2
Jameer Nelson 9.2 5.1 2.6 44.4 38.8
Jamal Murray 9.9 2.1 2.6 40.4 33.4
Emmanuel Mudiay 11.0 3.9 3.2 37.7 31.5

Lowry posted an excellent 2016-17 season and would represent a tremendous opportunity for the Nuggets to put themselves firmly in the playoff picture.

Update: Kyle Lowry denies rumor

As soon as this story posted, Lowry tweeted in response to the rumor:

So clearly, Lowry wasn’t too happy to hear his name dragged through the rumor mill.

Regardless, this could be a ploy by potential Lowry suitors to stir the pot a bit. It’s always difficult to tell where the rumor came from, but the story clearly says that the Raptors themselves have no intention of offering a five-year deal for Lowry’s future services. If there is some validity to that, then Lowry will at least have something to think about leading up to the start of free agency on July 1st.

Poll

If Kyle Lowry is available, should the Nuggets pursue him?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Yes. Pay him what he wants.
    (159 votes)
  • 41%
    Yes. Don’t pay the max though.
    (228 votes)
  • 19%
    No. The price is too high.
    (105 votes)
  • 10%
    No. The Nuggets are fine at point guard.
    (57 votes)
549 votes total Vote Now