Rap­tors ink Lowry, Ibaka

Toronto of­fi­cially re-signs point guard, for­ward/cen­tre

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY DHIREN MAHIBAN

With a rich new con­tract in his back pocket that will keep him in Toronto for three more years, Kyle Lowry joked he now needs a Cana­dian pass­port.

The Philadelphia na­tive of­fi­cially signed a new three-year deal worth a re­ported US$100 mil­lion with the Rap­tors on Fri­day once the NBA’s sign­ing mora­to­rium was lifted.

Toronto also re-signed Serge Ibaka to a three-year, $65 mil­lion con­tract.

Lowry, a three-time NBA al­ls­tar, ad­mit­ted he had op­tions in free agency, but that Toronto pre­sented him with the best op­por­tu­nity to chase an NBA cham­pi­onship.

“I be­lieve this is the best sit­u­a­tion to win a ring,” Lowry said. “The (Eastern Con­fer­ence) has changed a lot, but I can’t worry about what’s go­ing on with other teams, I got to worry about what’s go­ing on with my or­ga­ni­za­tion, my team, my team­mates.”

In five sea­sons with Toronto, the six-foot, 205-pound guard av­er­aged 18.2 points, 4.7 re­bounds and 6.8 as­sists over 354 reg­u­lar sea­son games.

The 31-year-old av­er­aged 18.1 points, 4.5 re­bounds and 5.6 as­sists in 39 play­off ap­pear­ances with the Rap­tors.

Lowry opted out of his fouryear $48 mil­lion con­tract signed in July 2014 to be­come a free agent in May, but said he didn’t come close to sign­ing else­where.

“You do con­sider (your op­tions),” he said. “You say, ‘You’ve been here five years, what about this? What about try­ing some­thing new? What about this or try­ing that?’

“The thought process is al­ways there, but you’re com­fort­able, you’re happy, you want to give more - it makes the de­ci­sion process a lot eas­ier.

Lowry, who will en­ter the 2017-18 sea­son as the Rap­tors’ all-time leader with 828 made three-point­ers, sec­ond in as­sists (2,405) and sixth in scor­ing with 6,430 points, is also look­ing for­ward to em­brac­ing more of a lead­er­ship role with the club.

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