It’s rather clear that firing head coach Dwane Casey was only the first in what promises to be a long line of moves for the Toronto Raptors after they were embarrassed by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals earlier this month.
Without a whole lot of room to work with due to a less-than-stellar salary cap situation, this could mean that Toronto will move on from its core group. That includes All-Star guard Kyle Lowry, who could potentially be traded this summer.
“If anything does happen with that roster, Lowry is probably the guy who makes the most sense,” a league exec told Sean Deveney of the Sporting News. “He can be hard-headed, that was always his reputation, but he seems to have mellowed out now that he’s older. He’s tough and he has two years left on the contract, which makes it easy to take, especially if you can get rid of a bad deal on your books. I think that is what Toronto is going to be looking at with him and of all the possibilities, that’s the most likely.”
Toronto made a whole plethora of moves last summer to get under the luxury tax threshold. The team will enter this summer nearly $27 million over the cap. Lowry, 32, is set to count a whopping $31 million against the cap after signing a three-year, $90 million contract with the team last July.
At this point, it seems that no one on the Raptors’ roster is safe. Despite winning a franchise-record 59 games this past regular season, Toronto was swept out of the playoffs in embarrassing fashion by Cleveland. That has not sit well with the powers to be up north.
Lowry averaged a five-year low 16.2 points this past season. He’s on the wrong side of 30. Despite this, there are contending teams who might be interested in him based on a rather short contract.
Toronto could also possibly dangle DeMar DeRozan in trade talks. He’s coming off a career-best season in which the All-Star averaged 23.0 points on 46 percent shooting. Though, he’s set to make a combined $84 million over the next three seasons. That contract could make it hard for Toronto to move the elite-level scorer for fair market value.