Traded to the Toronto Raptors in the summer of 2012, Kyle Lowry has proven to be one of the greatest players in franchise history. He was also a key piece to the team’s first-ever championship run. However, recently, the 34-year-old’s name has come up in many trade rumors, and the question arises: Is it time to move on from Kyle Lowry?
The heart and soul of this franchise, he is the one constant that represents the team’s winning culture. He possesses intangibles that every team covets. Although he has aged and slowed down just a little, he continues to bring his A-game to the court every night, helping the team win.
Having contributed so much to the Raptors franchise, Lowry will certainly have a say in whether he gets traded with another team. But Masai Ujiri needs to consider if the team benefits in dealing him away. It also depends on the direction the franchise is going in the future. Will they reload their roster or rebuild?
With how Masai has run this team for the past few years, he has always looked to retool the roster to have a better shot at winning the championship. He never dove into a rebuild.
Assuming Toronto is looking to retool then compete for a championship, Kyle Lowry should not be traded for the following reasons:
Lowry is a Jack-of-all-Trades
There are only three players this season above the age of 32 who are putting up an average of 17p/5r/6a this season. This list consists of LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Kyle Lowry.
Lowry significantly contributes in every category, helping the team fight for a playoff spot after a horrendous start to the season. He is shooting at a 44/38/88 split, which is above average for a typical NBA point guard. Not extraordinary in any one category in the general boxscore, Lowry can be described as a jack-of-all-trades.
An exceptional floor general, Kyle makes the players around him better and looks to give them opportunities to grow whenever he can.
Moreover, Lowry is part of one of the top defensive-guard tandems in the league, along with Fred VanVleet. Although undersized 6’1, both wreak havoc on the defensive end of the floor, with them sacrificing their bodies for the team’s greater good. Kyle is a beast defensively, with one of his major impacts being at this end.
Lowry contributes something everywhere on the court (and off it) while aiding the team to climb the standings slowly. His stats don’t pop off to the casual NBA fan, but they see his overall impact on the court once one looks deeper.
Lowry is a Top Hustler in the League
The heart and soul of this organization, Lowry puts it all on the court. He makes those body-sacrificing plays that lead to turnovers for the opposition. He makes life difficult for his opponent and has that dog mentality, which allows him to get under the other team’s skin.
Lowry is 1st in the league for total charges drawn this season with 12. He is also 2nd in the league for charges drawn per game, according to NBA.com. He willingly puts his body on the line to make the right play and create an advantage for the Raptors.
The energy and effort he offers on the court is contagious and spreads to all his teammates. It is infectious and is one of the reasons why the Raptors should keep him on the team.
His Intangibles Are Unparalleled
The most important thing that Lowry brings to the team is his leadership and intangibles. If anything, what he brings in this department should be the sole reason why the Raptors would not send him to another team.
The manner in which he takes youngsters under his wing and is a vocal leader in the locker room should not go unnoticed.
His teammates, especially the young players like VanVleet, Anunoby, and Siakam, see him as a role model. They admire him for the way he treats his teammates and puts the team over himself.
He is a leader, mentor, and role model. Kyle Lowry brings too much value to the team. He is the player a coach wants to have on his team, especially a contending one like the Raptors.
All in all, the Raptors would not benefit from trading him compared to keeping him.