Raptors ink Lowry, Ibaka
Toronto officially re-signs point guard, forward/centre
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.