Chris Broussard is saying something about the Raptors in his Insider column. The most notable of which is:

The Raptors had talked with clubs about trading both Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, but their sudden surge after the Rudy Gay trade has the front office stuck.

In the summer, Marc Stein reported that the Raptors were in talks with the Clippers regarding a trade for Eric Bledsoe (who then got shipped to the Suns).

In December, Stein again reported that the Raptors and Knicks were in trade talks regarding Kyle Lowry, and that the Raptors’ asking price was too high.

My guess is that this is old news being regurgitated.

Then comes the interesting bit:

One GM told me that if the Raptors start losing, they’ll likely trade Lowry. But if they keep winning, they won’t move him for fear of the PR hit. “For Masai, this is a horrible situation long-term because Lowry’s playing himself into an All-Star position and you can’t just let an All-Star walk away,” another GM said. “I think Masai’s thinking, ‘It’s never been about this year, so let’s get what we can for Lowry.’ But if I’m a team that needs a starting point guard, I’d wait until the summer to go after Lowry.”

I disagree with this assessment because it makes Masai Ujiri out to look like a guy who goes which way the wind blows. To think that this piece is suggesting that Ujiri’s decision to trade or not trade Lowry is based on winning or losing a handful of games between now and February 20 (trade deadline) is ridiculous. I would like to believe Ujiri is slightly more savvy and holds a more long-term view of the situation, regardless of near-term results.

The issue here is that the Raptors may well have a verbal agreement to extend Lowry, but are prohibited by salary cap rules of offering him the money agreed upon via mid-season extension, and it’s the summer that they’re waiting for, which is when his Bird rights come into play.

The likely situation is also that Kyle Lowry may well be on the table (and even DeRozan for that matter), but Ujiri’s price is high, as reported since July by multiple, reputable sources. If someone is willing to bite, great, if not, we got pretty good players on our hands. In that sense, it’s a lot like selling a Drake OVO t-shirt on eBay for $250. If someone’s willing to buy it for that, it’s all yours. If not, I got me a fashionable shirt which the ladies love.

And also let’s not forget Lowry’s recent quote, and his obvious camaraderie with DeMar DeRozan:

“I Love Toronto And Want To Remain A Raptor”

I remember when people were suggesting that he’d demand a trade as soon as Rudy Gay was moved, and look how that turned out.

Long story short, it’s Masai Ujiri who holds the upper hand in any trade negotiation. At worst, he’ll overpay for Kyle Lowry, but don’t once think that NBA GMs (other than the Knicks, maybe) aren’t considering the contract year motivation Lowry is playing with. If he loses him for nothing, well, in that case we’re forced to conclude that his value on the market wasn’t acceptable to begin with.

  • SachinArora19
  • sunroof

    Interesting how Masai was have a nice friendly confab with Andy Miller, Kyle’s agent, at the Brooklyn game. Also, the dearth of teams needing a PG who aren’t already committed financially to one or lack cap space this summer.

  • Mike

    Love the Raptors “reports” consisting solely of other GM’s trying to guess what Ujiri is thinking. Keep up the good work Stein (and opposing GM’s).

    • JayTeam

      Other GM’s opinions are way more interesting than random opinions and speculation. It’s not like Ujiri is going to truthfully say exactly what he’s done and is doing.

      • 2damkule

        kind of true, but a GM’s opinion is usually what HE would do if in the same situation, and not (necessarily) what he thinks MU would/will do. it has as much value as anyone (writer, blogger, GM, coach) else who’s spitballing on a situation. no need to hold an opinion in some kind of reverence just because it comes from inside. remember, it was ‘insiders’ that put joe fucking johnson in the AS game ahead of 3 more worthy candidates, so it’s not as though they’re infallible.

  • rye247

    Is it so out of the realm of possibility that Kyle is actually willing and capable of playing at this level for the next 2/3 years? Is it also out of the realm of possibility that it’s actually true that he loves playing in Toronto, playing with his teammates, and playing on a team that plays this brand of blue-collar, hard-working, exciting sport (that Toronto fans love and appreciate in any sport)? Is it also out of the realm of possibility that Kyle believes in his teammates, in the organization, and that everyone will do what it takes to improve and do what it takes to attempt to become champions? As such, maybe he already has a gentleman’s agreement with Masai to re-sign with the Raps in the summer at a very reasonable price that will allow him to stay and grow with his teammates, while allowing the Ujiri some extra cash to go out and spend on upgrades in order to improve the team into a long-term, consistent, high-level winner? I believe such things are still possible in this day of professional sports and it kind of feels that this is the kind of thing that these guys are willing to do on this team. I haven’t liked being a Raptors fan this much, and enjoyed the kind of ball they are playing since 2001. When you play this kind of ball, and have the guys on the court and in the office who are willing to do whatever it takes for each other to succeed together, anything is possible…and it’s damn fun to watch.

    • JayTeam

      It’s not out of the realm of possibility Lowry plays at this level after signing his next contract. But it’s not the most likely outcome either. If it were, he’d be a max contract guy. If his future play is somewhere between this year and his career norm, I would still love to have him back.

      And yeah, this team is fun to watch.

    • GetLicks

      It honestly does look like he genuinely loves his teammates and playing here. Earlier in the season, i was reluctant to give him credit cause I thought he was just playing for his next contract. But when he trusted Patterson enough to feed him the ball and take the big shot in Brooklyn instead of tying to win it himself, it speaks volumes at how much he’s grown up from a few years ago. Also the way he pounded his chest and screamed at the Brooklyn fans after the win, was awesome to watch. Haven’t seen that kind of passion from a raptor player in a long time, maybe ever.

      If I were Masai, I’d sit him down and just ask him straight up: Do you love playin here and would you wanna stay and be the leader of this team? I’d love to see him and the rest of our guys, finish what they started.

    • raptorstand

      Kyle Lowry is going to sign for the most money, he wont take less to stay here. More power to him, I just hope we sign him for 4 years, and he gets the best deal he can.

      • Ion66

        I think that chemistry and winning are just as important to a guy like Lowry. He’s been around the league, and has not had what he now has. Not saying we don’t come close to what other teams will pay, but the positive situation and leadership role he has here, is not to be overlooked. At some point in our working lives, we ourselves are often faced with a choice to leave a job and people that we love, for the chance to make more money. Once you have been in a few lousy situations, you realize that stability, and growth potential, in a place where you actually like the people around you, is worth more than a bigger paycheck. Unless we get cheap, and he’s offered a seat on cash mountain, I like the Raptors chances of keeping him.

        • rye247

          Couldn’t agree more. I’ve felt the same way in my career and make less than I could in order to be in a situation I like with people I like. I’m just a thousandaire. Hopefully it’s the same for this millionaire.

  • DDayLewis

    Translation: Chris Broussard is full of shit

    • JayTeam

      Disagree. I don’t doubt both were being shopped prior to the Gay trade. And if you’re in the business of selling season tickets for huge sums of money trading Lowry to tank now would be a kick in the face for those paying (and especially those who have been paying) huge sums for Raptors tickets. If the Raps lose 9-10 in a row and drop to 8th or 9th, a trade becomes an easier sell.

  • Raptors Argentina


    • BIG WoRm

      For who?

  • Dinosaur Mite

    Masai could handle it like he handled Nene in Denver. Sign him to a big contract and them flip him later. That way you don’t lose an asset for for nothing, and if Lowry lives up to the big contract, great.

    • Marz

      This is exactly how I expect things to unfold.

    • monocled_gentleman_scholar

      Exactly, Masai has nothing to lose by paying Lowry this summer. I don’t see a scenario in which another team outbids us for Lowry. The only teams that have unlimited funds are the Lakers, Knicks, and Brooklyn. Brooklyn and NYC are over the cap. LA will have a ton of cap space, but will they be willing to offer Lowry max money? I doubt it, especially with Nash on board. And we’d likely match anything up to the $15 mil range (or at least I hope we would). The only fear I would have is that LA would not find a better FA score this summer and offer Lowry $16-17, and that would probably price us out.

  • Ian Reynolds

    This is my first time trying to comment on my phone soooo who knows how this comes out.

    First, Chris Broussard is usually a wrong dumb-dumb. There I said it.

    Second, as other teams around the league learn more about Masai, it’ll be harder for him to win trades, at least so easily. I can see, especially since Lowry is basically playing like one of the top guards in the league right now, Ujiri doing the Nene situation mentioned below and trading him AFTER he re- signs. I don’t see him walking for nothing and I also don’t see teams ponying up for a soon to be UFA with a rap sheet around coach and GM circles.

    Lowry seemed like the next to be on the go but now I think Masai is handcuffed a little. Demar had a growing reputation around the league and due to the factors I mentioned and this allstar talk with DD I can see teams clamoring to acquire him before Lowry, especially since he’s under control for the same money for a few years. Money I openly disagree with, but at least we know what he is and what he gets paid which would likely make him more palatable to other teams.

  • Captain_Dog

    Judging by past history, Chris Broussard’s “sources” are just the voices in his head.

  • Stephen Brotherston

    Just after the Gay trade, it was confirmed (by another team’s GM – not the Clippers) that the Raptors were working hard to move both DeRozan and Lowry, but the price was way too high.
    Nothing since however.

  • Ion66

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the point of trading a player to upgrade a roster, usually an attempt to hopefully land an all-star quality one? If you have one already, unless there is a glaring need at another position, why would you make that trade? If he’s happy, pay him, keep him and move on. Don’t mess with chemistry.

  • pran21

    Give Kyle the money he deserves !!! He is one of the best PG’s in the game and he’s with us! Im positive hell continue to play like this for the next 2-3 years. Comon we gave Landy 18mil/3 yr contract and that dude hasnt scored 100 in 2 seasons -_- Let’s keep this core, add some pieces to the bench and push for a deeper playoff run/championship !

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  • hoogie

    IMO, we sign Lowry before he walks but not yet. I would estimate he would be looking for 8-10 million yr/3 years. He is the guy you want at the helm of this ship with the relationship he now has with the rest of the team. He is hungry for a championship and will give it all he has every night as long as the brass continue putting together a team that has a shot at getting there. Lowry will not sign as a backup with another team if he is running this team. I believe he likes it in Toronto and would stay even if it was for a bit less money then he would get from another team who would only use him off the bench. I think the Raps are not that far from building a real contender if they can pick up a legitimate back up 5 who can rebound and defend underneath. JV will get bigger and better over time, DD is improving every year, Ross has a lot of potential and is also getting better every game and I don’t think they will be discussed in any trade talks unless the Raps go on an extended downward spiral. I really love Amir’s game when he is in the grove and would hate to see him go but I think he may be part of a future deal now that Patterson is performing. Raps also have Fields, Novak ,Hansbrough, and Hayes who can be used in trade talks for a big. KL should have been an all-star this year.

  • fM

    I have good source who says t hey will try to sign him for 2-3 years, with a guarantee that if he keeps it up he will get a massive payday. Giving him 10 million along the lines of steph curry is definitely possible and likely. He keeps it up and @age 30 he will get a 5 year 15+M deal. Lets hope it all works out!! The main concern is we pay him huge bucks and he starts to coast, and stop playing through small injuries he’s playing through now. He has a bad reputation too so if he redeems himself it will be huge. When he plays hard he’s one of the most elite point guards in the nba.

  • Ednan Ahmed

    This was the first off-season that Lowry wasn’t hurt and got to work out properly in preparation of the 2013-2014 season, but these guys also have chemistry together. If Lowry wants a fair contract and likes Toronto, lets give it to him and lock in our backcourt.

    Sign Vince this offfseason and give T-Mac a call so we can backup DeMar and Ross with some nostalgia n skill. Also see if you can steal Bennett from Cleveland he will be pretty good in a few years