Kyle Lowry returns to the Raptors. He got paid a lot. Here's why it makes sense.
After testing the market nearly 48 hours into free agency, Toronto Raptors PG Kyle Lowry decided to stay home and return to the Raptors at the retail price of 3 years, $100 million.
When I initially saw that deal I must admit, like all of you on social media I was a little shocked. I get it. How does a guy like Lowry deserve or command that kind of money?
The truth is Kyle Lowry is a 31 year old workhorse of a point guard who is most likely closer to the end of his prime did break the bank for himself.
Additionally I also realize I'm a pretty smart dude. I do the one thing many NBA fans seem to disregard time and time again. That is I do not look at every single NBA contract at face value.
Far too many times as NBA fans and yes -- even media types get too wrapped up in the numbers of these contracts. I'm here to tell you this deal actually makes sense. I will explain why.
1. With Lowry the Raptors are still a contender out East. Period.
In 2017-18 Toronto is bringing back virtually their entire core of players -- including Serge Ibaka who the team traded for last season. Now their ceiling probably doesn't shift in terms of whether they can dethrone LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers which has ended the Raptors the last two postseasons. But sports fans today no longer look at just being competitive as an importance. The truth is this 4-5 year stretch is by far the most competitive the city of Toronto has ever seen. There's tons of value in that. And who knows, what if LeBron actually gets hurt next year. That opens things up out East and I'd pencil Toronto as the odds on favorite to play in next year Finals should that circumstance ever play out.
2. Both parties win with this deal. Seriously they do.
Again -- all parties agree it's a lot of money. But here is where I agree with what Toronto did. For starters Lowry was the best point guard available on the market. Plus the Raptors played it smart here. They are literally paying for what's left of Lowry's prime years and nothing more. Every player covets long term security and acquiring a five year deal does just that. Toronto avoids paying any of Lowry's past of prime performance. In three short years Toronto is done with the contract and most likely -- Lowry himself.
3. What choice did Toronto have?
We need to get out of the mindset that every season should be viewed as a championship or bust scenario for every franchise. The factor of the matter is not all teams are created equal. Going back to the lottery at this present time isn't nor should be in the cards for the Raptors. Sure -- they may not ever beat LeBron James out East. Doesn't mean that they shouldn't try. And competitive teams still ultimately make the ownership money and the franchise damn well respectable because in the end fans would rather see a team try to win than tank for nothing.