After being dumped out of the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers in a four-game sweep, Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry has reportedly chosen to opt out of his contract and test the free agency market this off-season, per ESPN.com’s Mark Stein.
Expected as it was, Kyle Lowry made it official this AM in Toronto, telling local reporters: “I will be opting out” to become a free agent
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) May 8, 2017
Lowry, 31, was set to make $12 million next season, but will now become an unrestricted free agent this summer instead after confirming to reporters on Monday he intends to opt out.
The point guard enjoyed a career-high year in the 2016-17 season, averaging 22.4 points, seven assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 41.2-percent from three.
However his season has been interrupted by injuries from the outset and throughout, his regular season was limited to 60 games due to a right wrist injury that required surgery in February. Lowry also suffered a left ankle sprain in the third quarter of Game 2 against the Cavaliers, an injury he aggravated in Game 3 warm-ups, he then sat out Sunday’s game where the Raptors were subsequently swept.
Raptors’ Kyle Lowry heads to locker room with apparent left leg injury (all angles) pic.twitter.com/dkZAU5To7s
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) May 4, 2017
Cory Joseph, Lowry’s replacement while absent through injury, averaged 15.3 points, 6.3 assists, and five rebounds per contest in Games 2 to 4, proving to the Raptors faithful that there is life after Lowry for Toronto. This also begged the question; are they actually better off without their 11-year veteran guard considering his poor postseason play?
After two consecutive unsuccessful series against the Cavaliers in the playoffs, Lowry may be likely to jump ship to the Western Conference, where ESPN’s Mark Stein believes the point guard will give ‘legit thought’ to a potential switch.
One team that would widely benefit from Lowry’s services would be the San Antonio Spurs. With the ageing Tony Parker ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs and possibly the beginning of next season with a leg injury, Lowry would be a decent successor to the Frenchman, joining a franchise with a strong chance of contending for a championship.