Kyle Lowry emerged as a true start during the 2013-14 season. The point guard was the anchor for the surging Toronto Raptors who look more poised than ever to develop into one of the league's best teams. Armed with youth and talent, the Raptors are on the rise and Lowry has been crucial to that effort. However, his contract is expiring and the point guard is ready to get paid. Are the Raptors willing to give him the money?
According to Alex Kennedy of BasketballInsiders.com, the Raptors are hoping to keep Lowry around, but contract demands might make that impossible. The two sides have reportedly already met to discuss a contract extension, but so far nothing has come from the talks. The point guard is coming off a season where he made just over $6 million. He is likely going to be seeking a solid pay raise, something Toronto is reportedly hesitant to hand out.
Lowry has already expressed his interest in returning to the Raptors. At the end of the team's first-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets, he used words like "us" and "we" when discussing the future, leaving many to believe that the 28-year-old will do what is possible to return. However, Lowry reportedly wants a nice long-term deal and the Raptors never favor those kind of deals. At one point Lowry was trade bait before a mid-season turnaround which only secures suspicion the Raptors have no intentions of giving the point guard some kind of max deal.
Lowry will not lack suitors in free agency. The Los Angeles Lakers have made the Raptors point guard a target. In need of someone to replace Steve Nash in the coming future, Lowry would be a solid pick. Nash might not be able to play next season even though he intends to and the Lakers need a player ready to go. Lowry would be a huge upgrade over Nash whether the veteran is healthy or not.
The New York Knicks are also keeping a close eye on the Lowry situation. The team attempted to trade for him during the mid-season trading period. They are in need of an upgrade at the point guard position after Raymond Felton failed to do much of anything. Even with Phil Jackson manning the ship, the team could still have lingering interest in Lowry and might be willing to offer him the contract of his choice, especially if Carmelo Anthony leaves.
Toronto has to re-sign Lowry. The point guard is essential if Toronto is going to develop into the team many believe they can become. While Lowry might say a million times that he wants to return, if he does not like the contract offer, he will not hesitate to go elsewhere.