'I have to sit down and look at everything': Raptors' Lowry not committing to Toronto

Raptors' Kyle Lowry walks out of the dressing room during the team's season-end media availability...

Raptors' Kyle Lowry walks out of the dressing room during the team's season-end media availability on Monday. (Reuters)

Ryan Wolstat, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:17 PM ET

TORONTO - Kyle Lowry didn't commit to a Toronto return on locker cleanout day, but he sure did not sound like a man that will be heading anywhere else this summer.

“Of course I can see myself back. We just went to Game 7, first round. Nobody expected us to be there. Of course I can see that,” Lowry said, the wound of Sunday's loss to Brooklyn clearly still fresh.

“It’s not really convincing (that needs to be done on Toronto's part). It’s just one of those things where I have to sit down and look at everything, weigh the options and do what’s best for myself and my family. But it’s still too early. I’m still Game 7 mode, and it’s still early for me to think about those things.

“Those things are on my mind. But I really haven’t got into a deep process of thought yet. We’re still two months away. We’ve still got a long way to go, a lot of thinking and talking to do."

Lowry has never been an unrestricted free agent before. As a restricted free agent, Cleveland signed him to an offer sheet that was matched by Houston. The Rockets eventually shipped him to Toronto.

 

Lowry is not worried about all of the negatives outsiders always seem to attach to playing in Toronto.

“If you build a winning franchise, it’s a little different — when you win. All of those things, taxes and that stuff, it matters. At the same time, if you’re winning, it’s cool. You’ll figure it out. It’ll be OK,” he said.

Lowry admitted that playing with an all-star and a friend he considers a brother, in DeMar DeRozan, means a lot to him.

“Yeah. To play with a guy who is an All-Star, play with a guy that’s learning to do it in both ends of the floor, why wouldn’t you want to play with that? Why wouldn’t you want to be on a team with a guy like that? If you go around the league and find a guy like that you want to play with him,” Lowry said.

For his part, DeRozan wouldn't even entertain the notion that Lowry might not be back. “I'm not worried about that at all,” DeRozan said at his turn at the podium.

Lowry prioritized “winning, family, situation, just how I can grow as a player and a man. Organization. Franchise.”

Well, he has had a taste of winning in Toronto now, he'd be hard-pressed to find a team able to pay him what he'll want closer to his Philadelphia home than the Raptors, he has already grown significantly as a human being and he knows Masai Ujiri and Tim Leiweke intend to continue molding this into a model franchise.

But nothing is iron-clad. While it makes perfect sense for Lowry to return, money will talk. Los Angeles might be far away, but that is an elite franchise with money to burn and a need at the point, given the fragile state of Steve Nash. Other suitors could emerge.

Which will make this summer tough for Lowry.

“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, but I am very happy,” he said.

“This has been one of the best seasons I've had through and through. Best coaches, teammates, upstairs. It’s been great. I am happy. Without a doubt I can say I'm happy.

“I appreciate the fans. Man, what they’ve done this year for us, and even them cheering us off the floor yesterday was an amazing thing. Them being outside of Maple Leaf Square was awesome. The fan base is unbelievable. We just let them know — me, I would let them know how much I appreciate them. And I know the team appreciates them.”

The fans appreciate Lowry and would be crushed to see him go. That seems unlikely, but only time will tell.

Check out Sun hoops beat man Ryan Wolstat's updates from Monday morning at the Air Canada Centre. Click here for a mobile-friendly version.


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