The offer to Lowry is expected to be in the $12-13 million range, which according to TSN’s Josh Lewenberg, would make him the 7th highest paid point-guard in the NBA next season. The Raps have made re-signing Lowry their number one priority this summer — as they definitely should — and $12 million per year is more than the Miami Heat, the Raps biggest competition for Lowry’s signature, can offer. Again, nothing can be done until midnight, and even then an agreement can only be made in principle. Check back later for more news. Update: Houston Rockets general manager, Daryl Morey, is reportedly meeting with Lowry tonight. His sales pitch will probably go something like this: Hey Kyle, I know that we traded you and that you and McHale didn’t get along, but hey, that was in the past. We can’t offer you much money, and Melo is actually our number one free agent target, but still. Hold off making any decisions until Melo makes up his mind, okay? The Raptors brass are meeting with Lowry at some point later today (I’m going to bed).
It has been building for months, since Ujiri challenged Lowry to mature into his talent rather than allow a reputation as being tough to work with turn him into a $2-million a year player. The Raptors’ out-of-nowhere 48-win season and thrilling playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets helped, as did the chemistry on the first NBA team where Lowry was the undisputed leader. Now he stands to get paid accordingly. At Lowry’s end-of-season press conference he couldn’t have been more effusive about his experience with the Raptors. He did his best to sound like he’d be willing to listen to offers elsewhere, but ultimately he couldn’t play it down the middle. “It’s very difficult, but at the end of the day it’s still a business and you have to be a businessman for the situation that you’re in,” Lowry said the day after the Raptors lost Game 7 to the Brooklyn Nets at the ACC. “But I am very happy. This has been one of the best seasons I’ve had through and through. Best coaches, teammates, [executives]. It’s been great. I am happy. Without a doubt, I can say I’m happy.”
With those championship aspirations in mind, it’s hard not to think that the Rockets could emerge as front-runners in due time. A potential Lowry reunion would give the Rockets tremendous depth at point guard, particularly when you consider that Patrick Beverley is on the books at an unguaranteed $915,243 for next season, according to ShamSports. With the Rockets apparently dreaming of a one-two punch capable of hounding opposing ball-handlers for 48 minutes, it’s already abundantly clear that Morey intends to keep his foot on the gas as free agency gets underway.
KYLE LOWRY, TORONTO, 28, PG, 20.1 PER Suitors: Toronto; Miami; L.A. Lakers Priorities: Being on a contender; Getting paid Skinny: Raptors willing to break bank to bring back top player and can offer most money and longest term. But while Lowry has always been underpaid, he also has never been on a contender and is eager to win. The question for Toronto is would they regret giving Lowry huge money? Was his phenomenal season partly fueled by his desire for a massive payday? Will he return in peak shape again? Can they afford to let another star get away, especially one who powers the offence and gives the squad its tough identity?
It’s Jonas hands down. Vucevic is 2 years older. Jonas already has playoff experience. Part of the reason Vucevic has better numbers is due to being on a worse team. Jonas is on a playoff calibur team and is a better overall defender. If you look at this logically, Jonas would have higher numbers if he were in ORL because the team is not as good overall. Likewise, if Vucevic were to go to TOR his numbers would go down because of Lowry, Derozan, etc. I like both players overall and this is not to say Vucecvic is not a good player because I really like him. I would however take Jonas over him without hesitation.
One thing that The Raptors desperately need as of right now, is some help at both the small forward and power forward position. No offense to T.Ross or Amir Johnson, both are great players, but they currently are not at the level of skill needed to be on a starting lineup on a championship caliber team. This is a large part in why I believe Gasol, Diaw, and Granger would fit in great with the Raptors lineup, as the team has no consistent force in their respected positions. Ideally, The Raptors would aim to acquire either: Gasol and Diaw, Gasol and Granger, or just Gasol. Gasol, although coming with the larger salary out of the three, would undoubtedly create the largest impact. Averaging 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 3.4 assists last season, Gasol would play as a consistent threat in the key, forcing opponents to play on their heels, and giving a bit more space for DeRozan and Lowry to work with on the outside. While Diaw and Granger may not the best players at the Small Forward position, they would be the most affordable and ideal veteran role players available at the position.
Bruno Caboclo, the 18-year-old, 205-pound Brazilian that Toronto took with the 20th pick overall in the first round. Caboclo has only been playing basketball for a few years, spending the last two playing for Pinheiros, a team in Sao Paolo. To say he was a relative unknown, not just to most of the ESPN team broadcasting the Draft, but to longtime NBA folk, would be an understatement. “We just didn’t have enough information on him,” one veteran team executive said over the weekend. When ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla, the former college coach who excels at evaluating international players, got off the line of the night about Caboclo — “he’s two years away from being two years away” — the derision came soon after, from far and wide. But go back and read that paragraph above again. Caboclo was a “relative” unknown. Not completely unknown. There were people, smart people, whose job it is to know where every good basketball player or prospect in the world is, who knew about Bruno Caboclo, knew h