The Toronto Raptors have many decisions to be made heading into the 2017 off-season. They have a few key players heading into the free agency market along with a coaching staff that may need to be shaken up. Knowing the Raptors they will most likely try bring a similar team back for next season, but that may not be possible.
Kyle Lowry has expressed interest in playing for his home town team, the Philadelphia 76ers, who have been rumoured to be targeting the 31-year-old. Lowry has played a crucial part in the Raptors success during his five seasons with the team. He has averaged 18.2 points and 6.8 assists per contest in Toronto. If he does decide to sign with the 76ers or anywhere else for that matter, it will change the Raptor’s entire off-season.
Kyle Lowry is interested in “returning home” to the 76ers, and Philadelphia will offer him a contract in free agency. pic.twitter.com/IWQSf8gcvw
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) May 10, 2017
On the surface, Lowry’s potential departure looks like it would hurt the team quite a bit. While this may be true for the upcoming 2017/18 season, eventually it might be a good thing. Lowry is at the tender age of 31, the Raptors would have to give him a five-year maximum contract to get him to resign. He would be making max money until he is 36, and as good as Lowry is, he barely has maximum contract value now and he isn’t getting any better, or younger.
Another starter in Serge Ibaka will also become an unrestricted free agent. Ibaka was acquired near the trade deadline from the Orlando Magic. Ibaka proved to be a good fit with the Raptors squad, because of that it would be very surprising to see him go anywhere else this offseason. They wouldn’t have traded for him if they didn’t plan on resigning him.
— NBA (@NBA) May 7, 2017
If the Raptors do end up bringing back the same core, something they may consider is a coaching change. Dwane Casey has spent six seasons as the head coach in Toronto and they have been the same team for most of his term. He hasn’t necessarily been a bad coach, but if they keep the same core they have to change something and maybe a different coach can bring more out of the roster.
Toronto could potentially look completely different come next season, but that may not be a bad thing. A new chapter in Raptors basketball could become an even more successful passage; only time will tell. Come July we will see what is in store for the future of Toronto basketball.