Kawhi Leonard may have left the Toronto Raptors in free agency, but their other All-Star isn’t going anywhere, as Kyle Lowry hopes to finish his career in Toronto.
Lowry, 33, has spent the last seven years of his career with the Raptors and has been named an All-Star in each of the last five seasons.
After helping deliver their first championship last season, Lowry has come to terms with the Raptors on a contract extension that will keep him in Toronto for the next two years.
Lowry was in the last year of a contract that will pay him just over $31 million for the 2019-20 season. So with this extension, he will now replicate that salary for another season.
By signing this contract extension, Lowry secures more financial security, but he also removes himself from what would have been a weak 2020 free agent class.
Doing so might not have been the best move for Lowry to maximize his market, as he would have been one of the top names available in free agency. On the other hand, it goes long way towards achieving his goal of retiring as a Raptor.
While there is a chance that Lowry is still traded over the next couple of years, the more likely scenario is that he stays put as the Raptors try to reconfigure their team into a championship contender once more.
By paying Lowry a hefty salary for the next two years, the Raptors are putting themselves in a position to be a competitive team that is really enticing for the free agents of the loaded 2021 class.
Once this contract is up, the Raptors can try to land another big fish in free agency and at that point in his career, Lowry could return on a much more team-friendly deal.
As of now, we still do not know if the Raptors will keep the band together for the entire season, or if they will eventually tear it down and try to get some value for their expiring contracts on the trade market.
While Toronto is nearing a crossroads, one thing appears clear. Lowry has been the face of this franchise and the Raptors hope to keep it that way.
Lavar Declares Lonzo, Lamelo won’t leave BBB
For the Big Baller Brand, it’s all about family.
However, after the Ball family’s company had been hit with fraud, scandals, and faulty products, New Orleans Pelicans Lonzo Ball and top 2020 NBA Draft prospect Lamelo Ball are considering starting fresh with new endorsement deals.
But according to their father Lavar Ball, his two sons aren’t going anywhere.
In his TMZ interview, the CEO of Big Baller Brand stated, “Lonzo can think all day. He ain’t signing with nobody but Big Baller Brand.”
Recently, Lonzo openly stated he is interested in signing endorsement deals with other brands. Lonzo has also encouraged his brother Lamelo to take meetings with other shoe brands before signing a shoe deal.
Lonzo has appeared to be at odds with Lavar all offseason. After Big Baller Brand Co-Founder Alan Foster allegedly stole $1.5 million from the company, Lonzo became wary of the company’s value. In response, Lavar claimed Lonzo is “damaged goods” on their hit reality TV show Ball in the Family.
Lonzo has also gone on record to bash the quality of BBB’s products, claiming he “had to switch [his shoes] every quarter because they would just rip.”
Lavar also said that Lamelo would stay with the brand as well, even though he has not worn any BBB shoes while playing in the NBL in Australia. Nike has reportedly scouted Lamelo for a potential endorsement deal with the Oregon-based company.
With the Big Baller Brand facing so much turmoil, Lavar’s fatherly commands may not be enough to keep his sons with the family brand.
NBA Season Preview and Power Rankings
We are only one week away from getting our first taste of action for the 2019-20 NBA regular season.
Next Tuesday night, the Toronto Raptors will raise their first championship banner to the rafters and give out their championship rings.
The defending champs will then kick off the season for the NBA against the up-and-coming New Orleans Pelicans, in a precursor to the game we have all been waiting to watch.
After the Raptors game, all eyes will be glued to the battle of Los Angeles, when the Clippers square off against the Lakers for the first time this season.
LeBron was the only player of the four superstars that was in L.A. last season, as the NBA landscape has changed significantly since a year ago.
With all of the player movement that took place in free agency, the NBA is more wide open than it has been in a long time.
There aren’t many teams that are coming into this season expecting to miss the playoffs and plenty of them actually feel like they have a legitimate chance to make a deep playoff run towards a championship.
As we all anxiously await the first tip, take a look at the first power rankings of the 2019-20 season.
The Washington Mystics Win First WNBA Championship in Thrilling Fashion
What a difference a year makes for the Washington Mystics.
After being swept in last year’s WNBA Finals by the Seattle Storm, the Mystics came back this season with a vengeance.
Lead by league MVP Elena Della Donne, the Mystics secured the best regular-season record in the WNBA and battled in a grueling Finals series against the Connecticut Sun, winning the series 3-2.
With Della Donne battling several injuries (including three herniated discs in her back), it was Emma Meesseman that delivered with 22 points in the winner-take-all Game 5.
Messeman became the first European-born WNBA Finals MVP, while Della Donne added 21 points. Connecticut Sun’s Jonquel Jones fought hard to the very end, leading the runner-ups with 25 points.
This championship was a long time coming for Mystic’s Head Coach Mike Thibault. The winningest coach in WNBA history finally secured his first title after 17 seasons.
Washington Wizards players John Wall, Bradley Beal, Ian Mahinmi
With the tenacity these women have shown throughout the season, it’s no surprised Della Done is looking forward to some much-deserved rest.
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