Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Raptors PG Lowry will opt out of final year of contract

"I will be opting out and that's as far as I've gotten", Lowry said as the Raptors wrapped up the season that ended with Sunday's loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now the question becomes whether they build on this group or shuffle the deck.

All season there have been concerns over LeBron James' workload.

Part of the reason the Raptors made their deadline moves was with Lowry's impending free agency in mind. They also became the first team in National Basketball Association history to start 8-0 in consecutive playoffs. Maintaining that cohesion through a lengthy and complicated design process is one of the hardest things to pull off as a group of developers.

Sidelined by a sprained left ankle, Lowry was not active Sunday when Toronto was swept in the second round of the playoffs by defending champion Cleveland.

Some think Toronto is better off if Lowry walks. PG Cory Joseph started at point guard for the Raptors with Lowry out. Cap space won't be an issue because Toronto has his Bird Rights. DeMar DeRozan had 22 points and eight assists despite taking an Iman Shumpert knee to the groin in the second quarter.

The Raptors took a 93-92 lead with 6:38 to play when Serge Ibaka made a free throw to complete a three-point play.

And while Kyle didn't play yesterday in the final game of the season, he showed up to support his team.

And so, the only win for the Toronto Raptors in the second round of the playoffs was a moral victory.

"We understood that, so just getting to the basket and just catching it a little bit closer to the basket at the elbow, isoing me at the elbow as well as running a double screen on the weak side opened up a lot of opportunities". If so, what becomes of Jonas Valanciunas?

To their great credit, the Raptors did not respond to a 12-point halftime deficit by laying down and letting the offseason come to them.

The most obvious candidate is Valanciunas. He was set to be paid $12 million for each year of that contract, and it's possible that he could get a max deal from the Raptors or another team after opting out.

Through four games, LeBron averaged 36.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.0 block in 41.1 minutes per contest, while shooting a ludicrous 57.3% from the field, 48.1% from deep, and 83.3% from the line. So that's why when it comes to things like this, I don't put the pressure on him, or I don't say: do this, do that.

This year's post-season run was Tucker's first in the National Basketball Association.

Hoping to stave off elimination, the Raptors were aggressive from the opening whistle.

Blocked Shots: 3 (Valanciunas 3). Ultimately we chose to go with narrative separation, and placed them at the end of the levels to prevent this problem for arising.

The problem is finding a team to take Valanciunas. It's not so much that Toronto gave up...they didn't. The Cavs had too many threats for the Raptors to contain. The Raptors still have DaMarre Carroll eating up cap space until 2019, and there isn't much of a ceiling for internal improvement.

If this was the last game Tucker ever plays in a Raptors uniform (please no), it will stand as his best. "Sitting on the bench in Game 3 suited up and knowing I can't play, Game 4 sitting there trying to help my team no matter what it was - helping them see plays, coach - it just sucks that I wasn't able to help my team".

The difference in these playoffs has been shooting and versatility.

Ujiri is known for his creativity in crafting his roster and knack for coming out on top in trades.

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