Kyle Lowry

As reported by multiple sources, the Raptors have traded reserve swingman Gary Forbes and a protected future first round pick (protection to be determined) to the Rockets for point guard Kyle Lowry. Lowry played in 47 games last season, averaging 32.1 minutes, 14.3 points, 6.6 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals while shooting 40.9 percent from the field and 37.4 percent beyond the arc.

As a fall-back plan after Bryan Colangelo was unable to sign Steve Nash, Kyle Lowry will do quite nicely, thank you very much. He’s 26 years old, has a reasonable contract (two years, $12 million, second year is a team option), and he has a very good all-around game for his position. Continuing with the Raptors’ trend of acquiring strong defensive players, Lowry is one of the better defensive point guards in the league — which is probably one of the reasons Raptors coach Dwane Casey is reportedly a big fan of his.

Lowry is definitely a very different type of player than Nash, particularly in how they get their points. Nash is more of a jumpshooter and can drain shots accurately from anywhere, while Lowry is more of a penetrator and gets more of his points at the rim. He’s pretty good from long-range, but his mid-range shooting is unquestionably the weakest part of his game — he made just 34 percent of his shots from 10 to 23 feet last season. Luckily, he doesn’t take a lot of those shots — just 20 percent of his field goal attempts came from that range. Wherever he shoots, he’s dangerous coming off screens with his quickness and ability to get off shots quickly.

While Lowry isn’t known as a pass-first point guard, he’s definitely not a ball hog. If he had played enough minutes to qualify last season (he missed 19 games with a variety of unrelated injuries), Lowry’s 6.6 assists per game would have tied him with Mike Conley for 10th in the league. As a passer, he’s more of a pick-and-roll playmaker than a drive-and-kick type — only 75 of his 310 assists in 2011-12 came on three-pointers. He’s definitely more of a risk-taking playmaker than Calderon, which naturally means more turnovers but also more assists for teammates driving to the rim.

Defensively, there’s a lot to like about Lowry. He’s small, but quick and tenacious and he gets a lot of steals with his quick hands. This is arguably the biggest upgrade at the position for the Raptors. Whether Calderon is traded, amnestied or merely relegated to a backup role, Raptors fans will witness much less “matador defense” at the point. As a bonus, he’s a surprisingly good rebounder for a player listed as being a bit under six feet tall in his bare feet.

Overall, this is a significant upgrade at point guard for the Raptors. Lowry is arguably already a top 10 NBA point guard, he’s just 26 years old, and his contract is more than reasonable. What’s not to like about this deal? Well, there is the matter of the draft pick going the other way, which apparently has a weird kind of protection where the Rockets get the pick if it’s in the lottery, but only below a certain numbered pick. It could be top three, top five… I’ll let you know when we find out.

While I initially wasn’t crazy about trading a future pick, we all knew Colangelo was in “win now” mode going into this season and Lowry is young enough that he could be a major building block for this franchise going forward. Could Colangelo have acquired Lowry without giving up a pick? No, I don’t believe he could have — Rockets GM Daryl Morey is no dummy.

As it stands, Kyle Lowry is now the best player on the Raptors’ roster, and it’s hard to project if a team with Lowry as its best player can be a playoff team in the East. A lot of that has to do with the ongoing development of the team’s youngsters, with the health of Andrea Bargnani, with the type of season they get from Landry Fields, and with the arrival of a certain Lithuanian big man you might have heard about. What I will say is that, with this move, Colangelo has redeemed himself after this off-season’s Nash debacle.

Update: Houston Chronicle reporter Jerome Solomon tweeted, “Rockets won’t get top-3 pick next year, top-2 pick next two years or No. 1 pick the next two. Otherwise lottery pick goes to Houston.” So it appears the Raptors keep the pick if they make the playoffs five years in a row. Hey, it could happen!

Comments (75)

  1. Pretty good trade for the Raptors, especially if they can get that lottery protected pick.

    Now, what to do with Calderon…

    • I’m about winning championships anything that doesn’t get you towards doing that, is a waste of time.

      This is a waste of time.

      • then you shouldn’t be a raptors fan lol

      • So its championship or nothing for you eh. Lol.

      • then you are unintelligent. anytime you acquire a top 10-12 point guard you do it. Calderon was a liability as a starter on defence. lowry is 26 and still improving…

        • I agree with Oliver. No one’s saying that the Raptors are going to be contending for the championship next year. But this is a huge, HUGE upgrade for the Raptors defensively.

          Next on the to do list: Trade Bargnani

  2. I like Lowry and have no problem with Colangelo trading for him. But from what I’ve read, there is “very little lottery protection” with the pick. Just how good does Colangelo think this team is going to be? I think, once again, he’s overestimating the talent on the team.

    • You can’t get good players with team friendly contracts (like Lowry) by giving up lottery protected picks and marginal talent. I’m actually shocked that they gave up so little.

      • The problem is that it’s another short-sighted move by Colangelo. I HATE teams giving up lottery picks because you never know what you can get with it. And on a team so lacking in real talent, giving up lottery picks is stupid, quite frankly.

        • gtfo Tim W. Ever noticed how you hate EVERYTHING

          • Exaggerate much? I liked the James Johnson trade, I LOVED the Valanciunas pick, and before most other people did. I also liked the Ed Davis pick, and a number of other deals.

            Sorry that I’m not a yesman who likes everything that the Raptors do. I have independent thought that allows me to judge each situation differently and objectively.

            And here’s my full option on the deal. I think I’ve got pretty good reason not to like it…

        • You never know what you can get with a lottery pick, but you do know what you have in Kyle Lowry: defence, rebounding, passing and toughness all at a great price. That sounds like a PG of the future to me!

          I think it’s a smart move by BC to take the proven commodity at a discounted price (since Lowry announced he would not play under McHale any more) as opposed to holding on to his draft pick (which may or may not be very good) in a weak draft class.

        • Think about it we took Ross at 8, if we give up another player of his level to get Lowry I think its safe to say BC made a good deal, and to say taking that chance of hoping our pick would be a star, when it easily could be a bust, sounds very stupid. Don[t get the reasoning Tim, Lowry will help for years to come

          • I don’t have a problem with Lowry. I like him, but if the lottery pick turns out to be a top 10 oick and the player even a borderline All-Star, it was a bad move.

            The Raptors don’t need another decent player, which Lowry is. They need high level talent. Lowry is not going to be a high level player, but there’s a chance a top 10 lottery pick might end up being one.

            Unless you’re happy with mediocrity, I’d rather the Raptors gamble for the higher ceiling and the higher floor.

          • Thats a ridiculous line of reasoning. So what then, the Raptors should tank every year in the hopes we get the same kind of luck that came OKC’s way? Thats like saying the longer you stay at the roulette table the higher your chances of winning.

            Colangelo obviously had a three year plan when he got extended, and is now trying to make good on his promise to the board to build a winner. Let him try.

        • I completely agree with you Tim

        • Fallacious reasoning Tim (see ad ignorantium). Same argument can swing the other way as well. Simply put, you’re a glass half-empty kind of guy. While that is no problem in itself to many readers here, you should be cognizant of your negativity and when to stop presenting it as sound logic.

          • Funny, I have also been called a optimistic homer, at other times. Unless you’ve gone through all the posts on my blog, I do find it curious how you can judge me based on a few comments.

            The fact is that I have been very positive about some thing and negative about others. If labelling me allows you to ignore my argument, then so be it. But you be cognizant of the fact that’s what YOU are doing.

        • What would make you happy. Seems you bitch about everything

      • With the level of talent who cares? What sort of ceiling does this team have? 7th seed?

        I’d rather take my chances in the draft and hope to land a diamond in the rough

      • I think is a bad deal in relation to fact they could have likely made deal with this year’s #8 pick where houston would have taken drummond

        deal then needs to be analysed in context of a lowry for terrence ross trade which I think anyone would make

        problem is that colangelo misjudged his ability to get nash (like he did in resigning bosh)

        not sure if it is ego or internal raptor politics driving these decisions but they certainly have set club back where only way toronto appears to build a team is through draft

    • Stopped listening to you when you said that Lowry is not a top level talent. You are quite the glass half empty type.

      I’d rather have a proven top 10 point guard than a lottery pick that could “potentially” turn out to be good.

      Seriously have you seen how ridiculous this guy is? On even the most advanced stats he is one of the top PG’s in the NBA.

      • Lowry is a good PG, but he’s not a perennial All Star.

        And I’m neither a glass half full or half empty kind of guy. I’m a realist.

        And the fact is that Colangelo is building a mediocre team, without much upside, with the hopes it can sneak into the playoffs next year.

        Its certainly a possibility that the pick could end up being a 13th pick that does nothing, but at this point, the Raptors need to gamble in order to get high ceiling guys. Lowry is a nice player, but this is a safe move. And GMs that make safe moves build mediocre teams.

        • Can we guarantee a perennial all star with a pick in the lottery? Possibly if the picks were from the 1 to 3 area.

          But that requires a ton of tanking and a lot of luck.

          Lowry is more than a nice player. He’s a 2 way player who is top 12 in PER for point guards. One of the best point guards in win %.

          He may not be a superstar but he’s a tier 2 type of player and we have him on the cheap for the next 2 years.

          • You can’t guarantee anything. And Colangelo is playing it safe, which is exactly my point. If you want to build a contender, you have to gamble.

            Lowry is a nice player, yes. But you don’t build contenders with nice players.

  3. Holy crap, I really needed that news. I need to care less about this friggin basketball team.

    I’m guessing it’s top 5 protected. If the 2013 draft is shaping up to be that bad, maybe not a huge deal, but it probably would have been better to deal this year’s 8 (although apparently that deal wasn’t even on the table according to Eric Koreen). Whatever…Lowry is on an insanely good contract for another 2 years. He was easily my top choice of realistic PGs this offseason.

    As far as how bad this team will be, hard to say. BC can still dump Calderon’s contract and go after a SF. Too bad about that Fields contract. That one’s still leaving a taste of poop on my tongue.

  4. Is Kyle Lowry really that much better than Calderon? Is he even better than Calderon at all?

    Sure he’s stronger defensively, but you’d be giving something up on offense, possibly enough to make you wonder what the point of this trade was.

    • Ed, after 3 games you will love this guy. All-out effort on both ends of the floor. The biggest difference between him and Jose on offence is Kyle can get into the paint AND finish. He is also a more aggressive passer than Jose, willing to make risky passes for layups as opposed to always making the safe swing pass that Jose became famous for. Combine that with his hard-nosed defence and I would say Lowry is at least two tiers above Calderon in the echelons of point guards

      • Well that and Lowry’s defense is a little better than a construction cone

      • I’m sure Raptor fans will like Lowry more because most Raptor fans don’t know the difference between a good PG and a bad one. Lowry IS an upgrade, but not much of one. Calderon is a MUCH better passer than Lowery. You don’t need to be aggressive to be a good PG. It’s just it looks more exciting. With better talent, Calderon would look better.

        The fact that at one point, Raptor fans were clambering for guys like Rodney Stuckey and Devin Harris speaks volumes.

        • I disagree. To me, he IS a borderline all star. His PER is 18.9 which is just short of all star level. Not to mention, his d is rondo esque. Very good player and the cost is not prohibitive.

          • Calderon’s career PER is 17.4 and his highest (during a season he played 82 games) was 20.1.

            And Jerryd Bayless’ PER last season was 17.7. And he’s younger than Lowry. Wouldn’t it make sense, looking at those numbers, to just go with Bayless and keep the pick?

          • The best idea would be for you to stop posting

        • Really,this clown Tim thinks all raps fan don’t know good PG’s just because we never had one shows he a complete idiot.

          • Actually Tim’s comments and his blog are some of the best out there.Yet he has been beating this rebuild to death, and I strongly disagree with him on this point. To me the rebuild via draft is over. We came out of it with DeRozan, Davis, JV and Terrence Ross. This is the hand we have been dealt.
            The deal has protected us if we get lucky in the lottery, if lottery bound. I’ll gladly trade an 8-10 pick(example) for Kyle Lowry. Who wouldn’t?
            Our PG situation looks strong and I am not sure who is going to start.
            Really don’t like the Fields signing, would prefer having the money.


    this says 4 draft picks. If that’s the case, #amnestycolagelo

    “The Raptors have reportedly agreed to a trade with the Houston Rockets to acquire point guard Kyle Lowry in exchange for draft picks. Internet sources say the Raptors will send as many as four draft picks to the Rockets, two first-round picks and two second-round pick. One of the first rounders is to be a lottery pick.”

    • Seems like we’re hearing lots of different stories as to what and how many picks the Raptors are giving up.

      At this point, I’m waiting for an official source to confirm what the deal actually is.

  6. I like this pick up! Yes, they gave up a draft pick but they NEED talent and Lowry is a solid stat producing pg available for marginal cost. A back court with Jarred “the black hole” Bayless and an aging Calderon wasn’t gonna do it.

    Everyone cross your fingers for Rudy Gay or at least Ilyasova and all of a sudden we’re on track to improve. Side note, Terrance Ross will be a good pick. Baller.

  7. Loove this trade. Lowry is a pretty good player and underrated too. This has the potential to be one of the best trades Colangelo has ever done. I dont mind losing the pick if its top 10 protected. Also, i guess it means calderon is either traded/amnestied. I would prefer to keep calderon as a trade chip and amnesty amir johnson. Amir johnson is a backup pf who is vastly overpaid. At least calderon is expiring and can be used as a trade asset.

  8. Love the trade, I have all the time in the world for Lowry and a distant pick doesn’t interest me.

  9. WOW at the some of you still crying…would you all be happy with a 38yr old with back problems and paying him 12mil just to see him get injured? GTFO…this is a good deal. As for people asking is he better than jose, just FACEPALM! Lowry will easily score more than jose and on top prevent defensive breakdowns that jose was so adept at allowing! As for the pick it is top 5 protected, so the rest of the people saying “i rather draft” can stop crying.

  10. Not a bad deal at all giving up a pick and gary forbes. Lowry, Derozan, Fields, Bargs and jonas is a decent linup. Nothing special but much better from the year before.

  11. I wonder what the next shoe to drop is. I just can’t see Bayless, both Johnsons, Calderon, Davis, DeRozan all returning.

    Good trade though, now extend him.

    • were set at sf james johnson will do fine ross will be ready soon fuck calderon amir who cares ed davis aint going anywhere but i hope we get bayless back!

  12. Love this deal.

  13. Now that I read the conditions of the pick, seems like a lot to give up if the Raptors don’t make the playoffs or get the #1 pick because the pick goes to Houston in any other scenario but that’s what we are going to continue to get from BC.

  14. Great deal, finally a move that makes sense from BC. Lowry is gonna fit in great with Casey’s defensive system, which is a guaranteed contribution with many of today’s point guards taking a scoring role. The possibility of ending up with a bust in the draft is MUCH higher than getting a “diamond in the rough” as they say.

  15. Based on the few times I’ve watched Lowry, this trade – Lowry for what will most likely be a late lottery pick at best – seems like a no-brainer. The only question I have is why the Rockets would do this when they’ve just traded Dragic, leaving them with no point guards – Royce White almost looks like the closest things right now! Anyone know the scoop on his feud with McHale? From what I’ve read he basically said he couldn’t coexist with McHale. Pretty dickish move.

    • Lowry basically requested a trade. He didn’t want to play backup to Dragic, AND he didn’t want to play for McHale.

  16. So basically this is colangelo saying… If we suck next year, I’m not gonna get my contract renewed so I don’t really care what pick we give up…

    Ehh, whatever… Better than giving Lin 30 mill.. A lot better

  17. This hasn’t been mentioned at all, but Lowry will also fit in MUCH better with Dwayne Casey style of basketball.

    Dwayne has been preaching defense since the day he got here, and with the roster we had last year, we improved, but there’s only so much improving you can do with the roster we had.

    This is one of those trades where the head coach is doing backflips off camera!

  18. Love it. With a big more wheeling and dealing we could have five good defensive players in our starting five come November.

  19. Meh, will be easier to grade this deal when we see what pick we are giving up. If we pick between 5 and 14 next year, I’m happy. The odds of finding a better player than Lowry there, especially next year if the draft is as bad as people are projecting, are very low. If BC’s not back, maybe a new GM will offer up Bargs or DeMar to get back into the lottery.

    Of course, there’s the risk that for any number of reasons, this winds up being a very high draft pick down the road. That would be more problematic.

    I’m much better with this gamble than I am with the Nash gamble, put it that way.

    • Ya I’m not too hung about the lack of protection. No one can predict the future but this year’s team, on paper at least, looks better than last’s. BC was probably thinking even if we go into the lottery next year, it’ll be a pick in the teens. Would I give up a mid 1st rounder for Lowry? For sure.

      But ya there’s always the risk it could end up being a very high pick.

  20. I think it is a good move. Lottery pick is a gamble.

    Take it that way : would you draft a young PG in top 5 pick if you would know he would become exactly like Lowry? My answer : of course!

    So with that pick, it’s like if you would had drafted a very talented PG on both side of th court. Not a bad move at all.

    My only concern is that Raptors had a big hole at the 3 spot and still has. It was even bigger than at the poi t where I think Jose and Bayless would had done the job just fine.

    We should had gone all-in for a good SF instead and play more regulary Bayless who may become a fine scoring PG.

    I still cant understand why we was so obsessed to acquire a PG this offseason. I just think it’s because of that S. Nash story…

  21. Draft picks, particularly in the NBA, are a gamble. Getting a proven player with natural talent, who is still young, is definitely a worthwhile deal, considering we have had nothing but draft picks to look forward to for the last 10 years. This is a solid deal in my opinion, especially if we end up having a decent season next year, and ending up with a mid-round pick.

  22. If the goal is to win a championship and the team to imitate is the 2004 Pistons, because of the lack of superstars, then this is great. Hard nosed tough players are my favourite kind.

  23. finally you got the man i wanted forever! im honestly sick of tim & his comments your clearly not a raptors fan! your the kinda guy that make players not wanna come here period! always disecting every little move in a negative when its a positve! i should have your job you dont know shit bout basketball stick to university football lol

  24. RAPTORS flop in the draft anyways lowry all day acy the real deal number 4 & whoever said rudy gay thats what im talking bout!

  25. I hope this means Calderon is gone.

  26. Yippee. Go Raptors. Still not liking their odds against the Lakers but who knows.

  27. An absolute no brainier, a rare pat on the back bc

  28. Hopefully now that they have kyle lowry and keep jerryd bayless they could trade calderon for that draft pick they most likely will give up. Maybe mavs? Since they lost kidd to NY or someone in need of a backup if not they’ll probably amnesity clause him but hopefully it doesn’t go down to that.

  29. C’mon Carefoot – Lowry is the best player on this roster? Bargnani easily takes that spot. Price notwithstanding, what do you think GMs would trade a pick for if they had to pick – Lowry or Bargnani?

    • Bargnani is a better scorer, but Lowry’s all-around game makes him a better player. Lowry’s an above-average scorer, playmaker, rebounder and defender at his position.

      • What? You think there is more to basketball than just chucking the ball? That’s just crazy talk.

      • Offense is key to a point-guard’s ‘value’ in the league. How many of the league’s elite PGs are NOT elite offensively (PTS and ASSISTS)? The answer is ZERO.

        Lowry’s a very good player, but he’s not more valuable than Bargnani. Value IMHO is a very good reflection on who is the ‘better’ player because you’re comparing different positions.

        Bargnani is a very talented F/C who has averaged 20PPG and 6RPG last two years. Only a handful of big men out there with that kind of offensive reportoire, and still on an upswing.

        Ask yourself this – if Toronto trades Bargnani for a pick similar to what the Rockets got, do you consider that the Raptors got gouged?

        • Just looking at their PER which doesn’t take defense into consideration at all, Lowry is the better player 17.9 to 18.9). And when you take defense into consideration, the gap opens up considerably.

  30. The most interesting thing here is the odd draft pick swap. The question everyone should be asking is ‘why is Houston’s dork Elvis making this deal’?

    Obviously, the Raptors have been terrible so it’s easy to bet against the team based on past franchise history. But if you gave a damn about evidence that wouldn’t be your angle. And D. Morey digs evidence. So why would he consider a bet against the 2012-2015 Raptors a good bet knowing that he’s trading an above average PG and the team is quite likely adding an above average C?

    One look at a nerdy ranking of the Raptors current roster reveals a wonderful flaw:

    Bargnani and DeRozan are (from a wins produced angle) two of the worst players in the league. Not coincidentally, Jose Calderon produced the most wins for the Raptors (and he’s extremely likely to be traded or amnestied). To give more weight to the bet, trade rumours involving the Raptors often have Amir Johnson or Ed Davis bundled with Jose, encouraging anyone who might be paying attention to believe that two of the three best players on a very bad team will not be on the roster in 2012. But – this is key – at least one, quite possibly two (!) of the worst players in the NBA will be given extended minutes.

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