NBA Rumors: Raptors The Favorite To Retain Kyle Lowry?

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Kyle Lowry

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Lowry put on a showcase during the Toronto Raptors opening round playoff series loss to the Brooklyn Nets, but teams interested in pursuing the impending free-agent point guard may not get too far.

Following the Raptors’ Game 7 loss to the Nets, Lowry told SportsNet Canada he has “the best core of teammates” he’s had in his entire career. He followed that up by telling The Sporting News that it’s just the start for the young core of players north of the border, and despite his upcoming free agency, he’s very happy where he is.

Lowry was targeted by both the New York Knicks and Nets around the NBA trade deadline this winter, though obviously neither deal transpired. The Knicks felt the price for Lowry — Iman Shumpert and a first-round draft pick — was too high at the time.

An unrestricted free agent this summer, Lowry seemingly has put Toronto at the top of his list. He probably didn’t expect the team to make it to the playoffs, especially after the team sent Rudy Gay packing, but was pleasantly surprised by the Raptors’ run.

Toronto has the available cap space to re-up with Lowry, as well as surround him with more talented pieces around him. Spotrac.com estimates the team will have upwards of $12.8 million in cap space.

The Toronto Sun suggests it should be in Lowry’s best interest to remain with the team, citing a relationship with the fans which only a few players have earned in franchise history.

People never felt emotionally attached to Chris Bosh — well as he played with the Raptors — the way there seems to be an emotional attachment to Lowry. It was similar with Tracy McGrady, who wasn’t here long enough to feel something for and was still developing his game when he left. There will never be another Vince Carter situation: That was a first love followed by a first nasty divorce. That one you don’t get over easily.

Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.