Kyle Lowry remains a Toronto Raptor. After weeks of speculation surrounding a potential deadline day deal involving the veteran point guard, general manager Masai Ujiri was unable to find the right suitor for a perfect match for the direction of the struggling Raptors.
Turning 35 years old on Thursday, Lowry approached the NBA’s Trade Deadline like he has any other season as a member of the Raptors.
“It was kind of weird tonight not knowing what the next step would be, just with understanding there are things that could possibly be done,” Lowry said following Wednesday’s win over the Denver Nuggets. “It was different tonight, for sure… But I mean, who knows what’s going to happen? No one knows what’s going to happen. But it was definitely, for sure, different.”
Although helping snap his club’s nine-game losing streak, the ‘Greatest Raptor of All-Time’ legitimately believed that Wednesday evening may have been his last experience on the court as a member of the lone Canadian NBA team.
“Whatever will be will be, honestly,” he said rather emotionally. “That’s the truth. Whatever will be will be. At the end of the day, everything happens for a reason. You can’t control everything, and in some situations you can, but every decision that has happened that I’ve had a choice in doing has worked out for me very well, and everything will be fine. At the end of the day, everything will be fine no matter what happens.”
With the now 35-year-old NBA champion on an expiring contract, and the team most likely heading in the direction of a full-blown rebuild, it just seemed like the perfect scenario for Ujiri to move his point guard for a bundle of draft picks, prospects, roster players – or a combination of all three.
The Raptors are keeping Kyle Lowry, source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 25, 2021
Unfortunately for Raptors management, the demands were not met and Lowry remained in Toronto uniform past the 3:00 PM eastern trade deadline. Expected to explore free agency following the season, Lowry could join Kawhi Leonard, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka as players to leave via free agency without providing any sort of return to the Raptors.
Despite the news of the six-time all-star staying put, Ujiri and the Raptors did make three other moves on Thursday, including the trade of guard Norman Powell to the Portland Trail Blazers for fellow guards Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood. Powell is currently averaging 19.6 points per game while shooting 49.8 percent from the field.
“Some of the people in the organization, our medical staff were emotional and things like that, and I’m telling them to relax and calm down,” Powell said post-game. “But it’s a business. You build connections with people. … It doesn’t really bother me any type of way. Whatever happens, I can’t speak on emotions that aren’t here right now. I’m going to wait and see like everybody else.”
Ujiri was not done there, as he then shipped 26-year-old Matt Thomas to Utah for a future second-round draft pick before moving 23-year-old Terence Davis to the Sacramento Kings for another second-rounder.
Joining the Raptors is Trent, a 22-year-old restricted free agent, and 28-year-old Hood, who does not yet have a guaranteed deal in place for 2021-22. Hood is averaging just under five points per game this season, while Trent is third on the Trail Blazers with a 15 points-per-game average.
Other notable trades on the day involve the Heat picking up Victor Oladipo from Houston, the Clippers acquiring Rajon Rondo from Atlanta, the Nuggets adding both Aaron Gordon from Orlando and JaVale McGee from Cleveland.