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Report: Raptors not trading Kyle Lowry

Raptors guard Kyle Lowry

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JANUARY 29: Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors waves to his family during a game against the Sacramento Kings at Amalie Arena on January 29, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

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Raptors guard Kyle Lowry is biggest name to watch approaching the trade deadline.

Or not.

Michael Grange of Sportsnet:

Lowry is not going to be dealt before the March 25 trade deadline.

Whatabout reports Lowry prefers a trade to the 76ers and has told people he’s convinced Toronto will trade him? Lowry and his agent, Mark Bartelstein, have denied those.

Of course, the Raptors control whether they’ll trade Lowry. His desires and predictions matter only as much as the team wants them to matter.

But Grange’s trustworthy reporting says Toronto will keep Lowry.

Presumably, the Raptors’ decision came only after thoroughly evaluating the market. Lowry will turn 35 on trade-deadline day and is in the final year of his contract. Toronto has limited upside this season. It was worth at least considering a trade.

There’s also value in keeping Lowry. The Raptors are up to eighth in the Eastern Conference and could put up a fight in the playoffs. In addition to his production, Lowry brings very real sentimental value.

If keeping Lowry, Toronto will face a dilemma this offseason. Lowry will be a 35-year-old unrestricted free agent. He isn’t shy about pushing for a high salary (nor should he be). The Raptors have already invested in Fred VanVleet of their point guard of the future.

Plenty could change over the next two weeks. Maybe Toronto tumbles in the standings. Perhaps, another team improves its trade offer for Lowry more than expected.

But it could be a completely reasonable conclusion for the Raptors just to keep Lowry and deal with the complications this summer. At minimum, that’d be a welcome outcome for everyone who enjoys the identity Lowry and Toronto have forged together and wants to see it last a little longer.