Raptors show they can keep star free agents

Raptors GM Masai Ujiri (left) and Kyle Lowry pose after announcing the point guard has re-signed...

Raptors GM Masai Ujiri (left) and Kyle Lowry pose after announcing the point guard has re-signed with the team. (JACK BOLAND/QMI Agency)

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:07 PM ET

TORONTO - As Masai Ujiri made official his latest resume-building move — that would be bringing Kyle Lowry back into the fold despite overtures from Miami and Houston, among others — the question was posed whether he feels this particular get puts to rest all the talk about star players not wanting to play or remain in Toronto.

In truth, there have been plenty, from Damon Stoudamire to Tracy McGrady to Vince Carter and even Chris Both who eventually fled for supposed, and in some cases realistic, greener pastures.

But Ujiri has never felt it was the city or the added customs playing in Canada exposes a player to, or even the added taxes that keep players from re-signing in Toronto. It’s all about winning and while that hasn’t been in abundance for this franchise lately, in his mind this team is on the verge of doing that consistently.

“That has never been in my mind since I came here,” Ujiri said following a Lowry love-in that firmly established the point guard’s place on this young, improving team. “I have never been trying to prove anything to anyone because that will always take care of itself. Some of the cities we call destinations in this league today became destinations because they became winners. It’s simple. And we have to build that here. There are no excuses and we will continue to build that while we attract players and while we grow our own players.”


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