Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry era ends after guard signs with Miami Heat

Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors holds the championship trophy. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors holds the championship trophy. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Kyle Lowry’s time with the Toronto Raptors is coming to an end as the point guard has agreed to join the Miami Heat on a three-year deal.

After nine seasons with the Toronto Raptors, Kyle Lowry is off to South Beach joining the Miami Heat ending a nine-year run with the team.

For the last while, it was rumoured that the Heat were the frontrunners to sign the veteran as Lowry had an interest in joining good friend Jimmy Butler. He will also make $90 million on a three-year deal but the contract cannot be announced until Friday.

That didn’t stop Lowry from making the announcement on his Twitter account.

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Fortunately for the Raptors, they will receive something in return for Lowry as the contract will be part of a sign-and-trade, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It is not known yet what Toronto will get in return but Sportsnet’s Michael Grange suggests that Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa could be included in the deal and Dragic would then be flipped to the Dallas Mavericks.

Grange also adds that  Canadian Dwight Powell would be the ideal return in a deal with Dallas. Losing Lowry is tough news for Raptors fans considering the team was suck south of the border due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and Lowry was never given a proper sendoff.

The 35-year-old leaves the franchise as the all-time leader in assists (4,277), steals (873), three-pointers (1,518) and triple-doubles (18). Of course, Lowry’s impact on and off the court wasn’t always measured by stats as he was beloved for his bulldog mentality and leadership.

Toronto Raptors need to prepare the statue and jersey retirement for Kyle Lowry

No player is more deserving to have his number retired first by the Raptors. Without his performance in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, Toronto would not have been able to clinch their first NBA title.

There is no doubt where Lowry stands with the Raptors as the greatest player in franchise history. His first game back in Toronto will be the most popular ticket in town and likely the most anticipated and emotional game since DeMar DeRozan made his return.

It would be fitting that when the time comes, Lowry chooses to sign a one-day contract to retire with the Raptors and then be honoured with his jersey being the first retired by the team. Of course, a statue to commemorate his impact on the city and team also seems like a no-brainer.

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What are your thoughts on Lowry’s departure from the Raptors? Do you think he can find similar success in Miami? Let us know in the comments below.