“When I had to make my free-agency decision, there was a lot going through my head, a lot of roads my mind was traveling down. Family, first and foremost, and what’s going to make them happy, and give them the best life. Basketball, of course, and where I’d like to play for these next several years. And then there was also the gut-check aspect — just what I was feeling in my heart.
“But for me, at the end of the day, this was an easy decision. And all of those roads … they all led me back to the same place: home.
“They all led me back to Toronto.”
Shams Charania of The Vertical reported Lowry and the Raptors agreed to a three-year “near” $100 million contract.
Lowry started his career looking like a decent bench player. The Memphis Grizzlies drafted him with the 24th pick in 2006 and moved him to the Houston Rockets via trade midway through the 2008-09 season.
In his first six seasons with the Grizzlies and Rockets, Lowry averaged 10.4 points and 4.8 assists per game while shooting 42 percent.
Since the Rockets traded him to the Raptors prior to the 2012-13 season, however, Lowry has emerged as one of the NBA‘s best point guards.
Lowry does come with some injury risk, having reached the 75-game barrier just twice in his first five seasons with the Raptors.
However, the few drawbacks Lowry possesses don’t diminish how dynamic he is in running an offense. He has made the All-Star team in each of the last three seasons. The Raptors enjoyed their longest period of sustained success over the past four campaigns, winning three division titles and reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in 2015-16.
The Raptors’ window of success remains open after retaining Lowry this summer and re-signing DeMar DeRozan last year. Lowry’s return ensures they will remain one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference for the foreseeable future and only need to make a few tweaks to become serious challengers to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017-18 and beyond.
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