Photo Credit: Raptors Rapture
With the Toronto Raptors having just been swept out of the NBA playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers, point guard Kyle Lowry, 31, made it known that he will be opting out of his contract to become a free agent this summer. What does this mean for his future in the NBA?
Shortly after the announcement, Lowry made his free agency goal quite clear.
“A ring. Nothing else. I just want a ring.”
There are plenty of point guard-needy teams in the Eastern Conference which Lowry would fit in perfectly playing for. But, just like it has for the past seven seasons, the Eastern Conference runs through LeBron James, who hasn’t missed getting to the NBA Finals since 2010. Lowry knows that, as his Raptors have been eliminated by the Cavs in the playoffs for two straight seasons now. Since the Cavs aren’t in need of a point guard with All-Star Kyrie Irving in that role, the only thing that makes sense would be for Lowry to go to the Western Conference.
The Golden State Warriors would be Lowry’s best chance at a ring. They are once again at the top of the Western Conference for the third straight season. However, with two-time defending MVP Stephen Curry running the point, they have absolutely no need for Lowry’s services. Another really good team, however, could put those services to good use.
The San Antonio Spurs finished with the second-best record in the NBA for the second consecutive season, trailing only the Warriors. Their weakness from an overall production standpoint is their guard-play. Starting point guard Tony Parker and starting shooting guard Danny Green combined, yes combined, to average just 17. 4 points, 6.3 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game this past season. An improvement to those statistics could elevate the Spurs to the top of the NBA.
The man that could deliver that improvement at a relatively cheap price is now readily available.
Lowry averaged 22.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game on his own last season. Adding him would be a huge upgrade to a Spurs team that is already the second-best team in the Western Conference, and it would give them an even better chance to make a run at the Warriors for the top spot. This addition would benefit their team as a whole, as it would pair Lowry with Kawhi Leonard, arguably the NBA’s best all-around offensive and defensive player, creating one of the best point guard/small forward combinations in the league. This would give Lowry the best chance by far that he has ever had to win an NBA championship and get the ring he so desperately desires.
With free agency ahead of him this summer, the best team for Lowry to play for if he wants to start at point guard and contend for an NBA championship is the San Antonio Spurs. While we know with almost 100% certainty that he will be at least coming south of the Canada/U.S. border, the most likely scenario is that he’ll end up all the way down in southern Texas close to the U.S./Mexico border.