Thirty-six games into their 2020-21 campaign, the Toronto Raptors have stumbled to a 17-19 record, their tumultuous start good for eighth in the East and enough to prompt a wave of questions about the team's future.
More than a few of those have focused on veteran Kyle Lowry, with rumours circulating at various points this season questioning whether the legendary Raptor will finish the season in Toronto, or move on to vie for a title elsewhere.
Another rumour was added to the pile this week as The Ringer's Ryen Russillo made mention on The Bill Simmons Podcast that he's heard Lowry has told others he is going to be traded.
Soon after, however, the veteran posted an Instagram story early Tuesday appearing to deny Rusillo's claim.
"The lies people tell in the Media are amazing," Lowry's Instagram story read. "Don't put (things) out when they ain't come from me!"
Russillo's stated that Lowry has, on more than one occasion recently, suggested he'll be moved this season.
"The word on that one is that Lowry's been telling everybody for over a month that he is getting traded," Russillo told Simmons on the podcast, when asked by Simmons if he thinks Toronto should trade Lowry.
Russillo didn't provide any specifics on who those conversations would have been with, or when exactly they took place.
"I don't know if that's him saying it, I don't know if that's some understanding that he has with the front office, I don't know that part of it," Russillo continued. "But whenever you ask about Lowry, it's, 'Well, he thinks he's leaving.'"
This isn't the first time this season that such rumours have been floated. A report in late February from the Philadelphia Inquirer linked Lowry to his hometown 76ers, before the veteran's agent, Mark Bartelstein, shot down said rumours in no uncertain terms.
A decade into his tenure in Toronto, Lowry is currently playing out a one-year, $30-million deal with the Raptors, and enjoying a quality campaign so far averaging 18 points, seven assists, and 5.5 rebounds while shooting 40.3 per cent from deep.