The NBA-champion Toronto Raptors have agreed to a one-year, $31-million US extension with point guard Kyle Lowry, according to his agent Mark Bartelstein.
Lowry was entering the last year of a three-year, $100-million contract and will earn $33 million during the upcoming season.
“We are so appreciative of how Masai and Bobby handled every aspect of this negotiation,” Bartelstein told ESPN, referring to Raptors president Masai Ujiri and general manager Bobby Webster.
An all-star the past five seasons, Lowry willl bypass free agency next summer, and the short-term deal helps the Raptors keep the flexibility many teams will want going into what’s likely to be a massive free-agent summer of 2021.
Gratified by team’s success
Last month, Lowry said winning one championship has whetted his appetite for another.
He has been gratified by the Raptors’ success.
“I’ve been through the ups and downs,” he said. “I was able to help bring a championship here, from the time when they were talking about tanking for certain players. I’m not saying I’m the sole reason but I feel like I have a big part of it.”
Off-season thumb surgery
The 33-year-old was a key contributor to the team’s 2019 title run — his seventh season in Toronto — as he averaged 14.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 8.7 assists over 65 games.
It kept him from playing for USA Basketball at this summer’s World Cup, and he isn’t playing in the Raptors’ pre-season games this week in Japan against Houston.
However, Lowry suggested recently he would be ready for the Oct. 22 season opener against visiting New Orleans when Toronto players are expected to receive their championship rings.