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Remember when free-agent point guard Kyle Lowry reportedly wanted a few days to make his decision? Turns out he only needed one.
For fans of the Houston Rockets, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers, the news of the Raptors snagging Lowry is undoubtedly disappointing. Lowry represented the top-rated unrestricted point-guard option on the market, and was highly sought after by the aforementioned teams.
In retaining Lowry, the Raptors net themselves security for their team plans going forward. Had Lowry left, they would have found themselves with little cap room and a fractured roster without its leader. It also bucks the trend of notable talents bolting from the Raptors.
The contract should carry through most of Lowry's prime years. The 28-year-old finally managed to duck both injury and attitude concerns last season, breaking out with career highs in both points (17.9) and assists (7.4). With Lowry at the helm, the team won a franchise-high 48 games in the regular season en route to the third seed in the Eastern Conference.
With Lowry off the market, the pressure for contenders with cap room ramps up significantly. That should have positive ramifications for B-level free-agents like forwards Trevor Ariza and Luol Deng, as well as center Pau Gasol, whose name has been plastered across various reports.