Even though the Toronto Raptors have a comfortable lead atop the NBA’s Atlantic Division and are considered legitimate contenders to emerge from the Eastern Conference, the fact the team is all in on the 2018-19 season because of the uncertainty around Kawhi Leonard’s future in the city means not all players are necessarily safe ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline.
Kyle Lowry appears to be one of those players, but the Raptors starting point guard is taking everything in stride.
A report surfaced Tuesday indicating the Raptors had been approached by the Grizzlies and discussed a potential deal involving Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas and Memphis veterans Mike Conley Jr. and Marc Gasol.
Nothing materialized and both Lowry and the Raptors went about their business, defeating the 76ers in Lowry’s hometown of Philadelphia. Lowry told reporters at Wells Fargo Center after the game that he hasn’t asked for a trade and that he wants to stay in Toronto to help the team win a championship.
“I think they will make decisions for themselves, and they’ll do what’s best for them,” Lowry later told ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “I don’t think there’s one thing I can say or do [to change that], you know what I mean? I think that’s just how they work, and they operate. They make moves, and they make moves for the best of the organization. If they do something, that will be their feeling to whatever the organization thinks is best for them.”
The Raptors next play Thursday on the road against the Atlanta Hawks but until the 3 p.m. ET deadline passes it could be an interesting, albeit stressful, time for Lowry and others.
“I haven’t heard anything,” Lowry said of possibly being moved. “Reassurance would be great, but at the end of the day, they don’t have to call me. My job is, as a player, to go out here and do my job. If they want to call me, that’d be great. I would appreciate it. But if they don’t, I understand.
“It’s a business. I know that’s such a cliché, but if they wanted to call me, I’m sure they would. I’ve been here six years, and I’ve given a lot to this organization. I’m sure if they were going to trade me, they’d say, ‘Hey, Kyle, this is what’s on the table.'”
Lowry, who has been selected as an all-star in each of the past five seasons, is averaging 14.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game with his 9.2 assists per game ranking second-best in the NBA behind Russell Westbrook.