JeffB Show full post »
Acie
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Heading into training camp, those close to Lowry predicted that the seven-year Raptor veteran and the engine driving the club’s rise to the NBA’s elite wouldn’t take the floor with the team until he received an extension.

On cue, Lowry didn’t participate in training camp and had already ruled himself out of Toronto’s pair of exhibition games in Tokyo against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday and Thursday of this week.

And just in case anyone missed the hint, when the Raptors played their intra-squad scrimmage last Thursday in Quebec City, 19 of the 20 players in camp were introduced to an adoring crowd, including Marc Gasol, the veteran centre who was sitting the game out as he rests after leading Spain to a gold medal at the World Cup in China in mid-September.

Lowry – the franchise’s most popular player – was the exception.



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That he was recovering from off-season thumb surgery gave the operation the barest bit of cover, but given Lowry acknowledged on media day that he had been cleared for contact and had been playing golf since the procedure in mid-July – projected then to require a one-month recovery – it was pretty evident that he wasn’t going to be suiting up for Toronto until he had a deal done.

That a deal did get done reflects a few factors.

 

One is that Raptors president Masai Ujiri and the club are truly appreciative of their point guard and what he has meant to the team’s culture. There is no six-year playoff run without Lowry and most certainly there is no NBA title without his combination of tenacity, smarts and skill. That Lowry played the last 13 games of their championship run with torn ligaments in his left thumb that required he take pain-killing needles prior to every start wasn’t lost on anyone.

There’s also the recognition that any chance the Raptors have of mounting a respectable title defence post-Kawhi Leonard this season relies on healthy, happy and engaged Lowry.

But even with that appreciation, Ujiri wasn’t going to give Lowry the multi-year extension – three years was the dream scenario – he was angling for when the two sides began talking earlier this summer. As much as Lowry is determined to do the work to extend his career into his late thirties, Ujiri did not want to bet big money on Lowry remaining at an all-star level beyond his age-35 season.

As a result, any championship bonus Lowry was going to get was going to have to come in the form of a one-year lump-sum.




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Part of Lowry’s slow playing training camp was driven by an effort to maintain some control of his destiny. If the Raptors weren’t going to give him an extension, sources close to Lowry say, he was prepared to hold out and try and force a deal to a destination of his choosing rather than allow the club to control the timing.

But it never came to that. Lowry was wise enough to recognize that $31 million payouts don’t come along every day for veterans heading into their 14th season, and the Raptors were sensible enough to avoid getting into a drawn out scrap with a player that has infused the franchise with his will and passion.

The deal doesn’t make Lowry a Raptors for life and it doesn’t even guarantee he’ll be a Raptor for the rest of this season.

But it means that Toronto’s most important player will get paid and will be at the ring ceremony on opening night with a bright smile, and that the Raptors’ championship defence won’t be scuttled before it begins.




https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/nba/raptors-snuff-potential-holdout-lowry-extension-keep-flexibility/
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Northern Neighbour
JeffB wrote:


Drake has been here 6yrs with the organization and he hasn't done anything to help get any big FA  to sign here or stay here. Time will tell what happens but imo, winning a championship hasn't changed the narrative about players not wanting to come here. Oddly, if anything that narrative has been amped up since winning the championship......weird how that kind of talk picked up at the time it did huh? 

This team will have to keep drafting properly, develop from within and be aggressive to take advantage when superstars become available on the trade market. Which, if we're being honest is no different than 20 other teams in the nba.


How can you say the narrative hasn't changed since the Raptors won a championship? They weren't players in FA this year because of cap issues. They were essentially all in on Kawhi and Green to a lesser extent. Plus, by the time Leonard made his decision, all the best FAs were signed. Time will tell whether the narrative has changed, but four months after hoisting LOB is too early to draw any conclusion. 

But you might be right that the team may have to rely on drafting and trades to land superstars, and that approach is fine. To trade for a superstar, though, having cap space is extremely beneficial and makes a trade much easier to facilitate. 

Oh, I do agree that the 2021 FA class could be a dud due to the age of the players (I did note this in my original post). Right now, it looks pretty good. Some guys may re-sign but others may go to market because the cap is expected to rise again in 2021-22, and, therefore, annual salaries will increase. Or maybe two superstars want to play together on the same team. For example, maybe Paul George has chronic shoulder problems, which reduces his effectiveness. The Clippers struggle to make it to the 2nd round of the playoffs in the two years of the Leonard and George partnership, and Leonard has his own health concerns. Leonard decides to opt out of his contract, calls Giannis, and proposes they play together. Giannis agrees and they go on the open market as a package. Or maybe a combination of Giannis and Beal becomes available. Who knows. The NBA is unpredictable. 
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JeffB


How can you say the narrative hasn't changed since the Raptors won a championship? They weren't players in FA this year because of cap issues. They were essentially all in on Kawhi and Green to a lesser extent. Plus, by the time Leonard made his decision, all the best FAs were signed. Time will tell whether the narrative has changed, but four months after hoisting LOB is too early to draw any conclusion. 

But you might be right that the team may have to rely on drafting and trades to land superstars, and that approach is fine. To trade for a superstar, though, having cap space is extremely beneficial and makes a trade much easier to facilitate. 

Oh, I do agree that the 2021 FA class could be a dud due to the age of the players (I did note this in my original post). Right now, it looks pretty good. Some guys may re-sign but others may go to market because the cap is expected to rise again in 2021-22, and, therefore, annual salaries will increase. Or maybe two superstars want to play together on the same team. For example, maybe Paul George has chronic shoulder problems, which reduces his effectiveness. The Clippers struggle to make it to the 2nd round of the playoffs in the two years of the Leonard and George partnership, and Leonard has his own health concerns. Leonard decides to opt out of his contract, calls Giannis, and proposes they play together. Giannis agrees and they go on the open market as a package. Or maybe a combination of Giannis and Beal becomes available. Who knows. The NBA is unpredictable. 


Green & Kawhi left for starters....that doesn't help our reputation. Neither does other players like Lou Williams, PJ Tucker and Channing Frye saying nobody wants to play here which was then repeated by the media all summer. None of that helps the narrative or reputation. I still think this team has to win through development + trades. Obviously we'll be able to sign some players, just not superstars imo. 
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Northern Neighbour
JeffB wrote:


Green & Kawhi left for starters....that doesn't help our reputation. Neither does other players like Lou Williams, PJ Tucker and Channing Frye saying nobody wants to play here which was then repeated by the media all summer. None of that helps the narrative or reputation. I still think this team has to win through development + trades. Obviously we'll be able to sign some players, just not superstars imo. 


Kawhi went to play closer to home. Same with Kyrie Irving. Not everyone, however, did the same. The Lakers gave Green a huge offer that the Raptors weren't willing to match. He, however, wanted to stay, and he made it publicly clear of his intentions. So why not take that into consideration? Oh, because it doesn't fit with your doomsday narrative. 
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JeffB


Kawhi went to play closer to home. Same with Kyrie Irving. Not everyone, however, did the same. The Lakers gave Green a huge offer that the Raptors weren't willing to match. He, however, wanted to stay, and he made it publicly clear of his intentions. So why not take that into consideration? Oh, because it doesn't fit with your doomsday narrative. 


It's not doomsday, it's reality.  I think we have the formula to win another championship.  Draft + develop + be opportunistic on the trade market when the opportunity arises.  Which btw is what 20+ other markets in the NBA have to do. We just happen to have one of the best front offices in the league. 
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LX
Having cap space and an excellent reputation gives any team a shot in free agency. Placing too much emphasis on FA acquisitions is a recipe for disaster though. Maybe the Raptors land the right player or players when the opportunity initially arises. If not, then they gain an edge on acquiring a player from a growing pool of Canadian talent down the line.
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Northern Neighbour
LX is bang on. If people look at the history of the NBA, the vast majority of champions were built from the draft and shrewd trades. Only the Heat with their "Big 3" were built on FA and one future HOFer in Wade. Even the Cavs' teams had an in-house product in Kyrie, traded for Love, and brought back James.

People not to stop focusing on winning the off-season and focus on the team, its winning tradition, and its future prospects. The Raptors' approach and process have proven to be successful. 
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moremilk
I think the raptors have been promoted to the 3rd tier of free agent destinations, alongside teams like boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, GSW etc. We are a team that would be considered, but we have a lot of built-in disadvantages (weather, taxes, foreign headaches). I would guess we are ahead a team like Denver, or Portland for example, small US markets, but behind the Texas teams and the super-destinations of LA/Miami/NYK (debatable if NYK is still in that top tier, for some players it probably is, for many they're not even on the radar given their terrible management).

Then again, it remains to be seen if this is truly the case as we'll be a free agent competitor over the next two summers.
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Someguy again
legacy cheque for lowry before masai uses him to fleece another team lol
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elT
LX is bang on. If people look at the history of the NBA, the vast majority of champions were built from the draft and shrewd trades. Only the Heat with their "Big 3" were built on FA and one future HOFer in Wade. Even the Cavs' teams had an in-house product in Kyrie, traded for Love, and brought back James.

People not to stop focusing on winning the off-season and focus on the team, its winning tradition, and its future prospects. The Raptors' approach and process have proven to be successful. 


Yes. Raptors Process! Fuck THE PROCESS!.
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Someguy again
elT wrote:


Yes. Raptors Process! Fuck THE PROCESS!.


we already did that in game 7

"IS THIS THE DAGGER?!?!?!?!?! OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH"
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elT


we already did that in game 7

"IS THIS THE DAGGER?!?!?!?!?! OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH"


We've been doing it for six years. The dagger was just that, the dagger, final end of the process. Even Embiid said "fuck the process" on the podium after the game.
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