Kyle Lowry Re-Signs, Pacers Targeting Rajon Rondo: Early NBA Free Agency Grades

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Kyle Lowry

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

We’re only three days into NBA free agency, but already one of the biggest dominoes has fallen into place.

The Toronto Raptors re-signed Kyle Lowry, one of the reported targets of the Miami Heat. And that move cannot be understated, because a week ago it seemed like Lowry was a lock to be playing alongside LeBron James.

Here are three moves in the early part of free agency and how they impact the rest of the way:

Toronto re-signs Lowry

The Raptors reportedly re-signed their point guard to a four-year, $48 million pact, meaning they’ll continue to be a factor in the Eastern Conference.

Not only does this move help Toronto remain a force in the East, but it keeps Lowry away from Miami, which may be come into play when LeBron makes his decision. Now the Heat back-court features rookie Shabazz Napier and Norris Cole — not an All-Star in Lowry that can change the course of a season.

It also keeps Lowry away from the Houston Rockets, which means perhaps the team will have to issue a heartfelt apology to Jeremy Lin with that whole Carmelo Anthony jersey thing.

Also, Lowry’s deal reportedly includes an opt-out clause after the third year, so if Toronto falls out of contention sooner than expected, Lowry can head elsewhere.

Orlando Magic continue to puzzle us all

Ben Gordon has seemingly fallen off the face of the Earth, but leave it to Orlando to locate him.

The Magic agreed to a two-year, $9 million deal with Gordon, reportedly, and for the team’s sake, let’s pretend they think it’s 2009.

Gordon isn’t even the 3-point shooter he was a couple of years ago, and he’s a locker room cancer. Just like passing up on Dante Exum, the Magic continue to make very, very questionable decisions.

Indiana Pacers want Rajon Rondo?

ESPN’s Marc Stein reported the Pacers want to make a major move, one that would bring Rondo to town.

It’s a power-shifting rumor, because Rondo instantly makes Indiana a better team. George Hill is a good point guard, but he’s not great and he’s not Rondo. That’s evident by the Pacers finishing 27th in the NBA in assists a season ago. A pass-first kind of player, Rondo can instantly help Paul George continue to ascend as a star and perhaps help Roy Hibbert find a more consistent role. The addition of Marcus Smart in the NBA Draft makes Rondo expendable in Boston, and that’s how I interpreted the move when it was made. The question is what Indiana will have to give up in order to facilitate a deal. The back-up plan, according to Stein, is Goran Dragic, one of the more underrated point guards in the league.

Gragic quietly averaged 20.3 points and 5.9 assists per game for Phoenix in 2013, and could have a similar impact as Rondo could in Indiana. Either move helps the Pacers return to the top of the Eastern Conference, and pending Miami’s moves, could be the favorite in 2014-15.

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