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After the Toronto Raptors were eliminated from the playoffs by the Brooklyn Nets in Game 7, Kyle Lowry spoke highly of his teammates and the organization. He told reporters that he wasn’t thinking about free agency yet, but his words seemed to hint that he’ll be back with the team, saying that this was “only the start for us.”
Lowry will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and he’s hitting the market after a career-year. Lowry averaged 17.9 points, 7.4 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals during the regular season, leading the Raptors to the third seed in the Eastern Conference. In the seven-game series against Brooklyn, the veteran point guard averaged 21.1 points, 4.7 assists and 4.7 rebounds. Lowry is playing the best basketball of his career and he’ll have plenty of teams pursuing him this summer.
While it seems Lowry wants to stay in Toronto, his future with the Raptors will depend on how much money they are offering. He’s 28 years old and has played on some relatively small contracts throughout his NBA career. There were some reports during the season that suggested Toronto was hesitant to give Lowry a lucrative long-term deal. If that’s the case, Lowry may go to a team that’s willing to give him a big payday.
Lowry’s agent Andy Miller reportedly met with Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri recently to discuss his client’s free agency. This is certainly a situation to watch this offseason, and one that will greatly impact the Raptors’ future.
The Rockets have been linked to a number of big-name players, as they reportedly have interest in signing Carmelo Anthony or trading for Rajon Rondo or Kevin Love. While league rules prohibit Morey from discussing any specific players publicly until July 1, as he said, he’ll never turn down the opportunity to add a third All-Star player.
With that said, it’s interesting that Morey said it’s unlikely that the Rockets will add a third near-max player, especially since he said the team could clear the necessary space to make it happen if they wanted. This confirms the report that the Rockets are “confident” they could trade Omer Asik or Jeremy Lin without taking money back, making them a player in the Anthony sweepstakes this summer.
This could be Morey trying to temper expectations, or it could be him being honest since Houston is still a long shot to land any of the previously mentioned stars.
However, it won’t be for lack of trying. In the interview, Morey also admitted that he’s always going to “explore aggressive scenarios,” meaning he’s going to kick the tires on all of those players. This is a huge summer for the Rockets and it’ll be interesting to see if they can make a blockbuster move.
This is a very strange situation because, from a distance, it seems like Jackson should remain the team’s coach. The Warriors are relevant for the first time in years, they made the playoffs in consecutive years and Jackson’s players love him.
However, there are a lot of issues between Jackson and the front office/ownership.
This drama has been going on behind the scenes for much of the year and while we don’t have many details just yet, things are so bad that, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, “Jackson doesn’t have one GSW front office ally who’ll make a case to ownership to keep him.” Yikes.
Stein reports that the Warriors will likely bring in a new head coach who will be on the same page as management, and he mentions Stan Van Gundy and Steve Kerr as candidates that greatly interest Golden State. He also mentions Fred Hoiberg as a possibility.
Whoever the Warriors bring in, it needs to be a strong hire because the last thing they want to do is fire Jackson and replace him with someone who isn’t nearly as successful or supported by the players. If the Warriors make the wrong hire, the team could significantly regress and things could get ugly in the locker room. That’s the last thing this team needs – more drama.
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