Take that, Ric Bucher!
Nothing is official yet -- in fact, nothing will be official until July 10th, when the NBA's moratorium period ends -- but according to the league's most well-respected 'insiders', the Raps feel very confident about locking up star-man, Kyle Lowry.
Earlier today the all-seeing, all-knowing, Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted this:
Expect Toronto GM Masai Ujiri to make aggressive bid to keep Kyle Lowry at midnight, try to wrap up deal before Miami/Houston can engage.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 30, 2014
And just two hours ago, his bitter rival (they're probably friends, to be honest), ESPN's Marc Stein, had more encouraging news for Raptors fans.
RE: rumbles Raptors already on verge of locking up Kyle Lowry ... all I can pass along is undeniable confidence from Raps about keeping him— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 30, 2014
The offer to Lowry is expected to be in the $12-13 million range, which according to TSN's Josh Lewenberg, would make him the 7th highest paid point-guard in the NBA next season. The Raps have made re-signing Lowry their number one priority this summer -- as they definitely should -- and $12 million per year is more than the Miami Heat, the Raps biggest competition for Lowry's signature, can offer.
Again, nothing can be done until midnight, and even then an agreement can only be made in principle. Check back later for more news.
Update: Houston Rockets general manager, Daryl Morey, is reportedly meeting with Lowry tonight. His sales pitch will probably go something like this: Hey Kyle, I know that we traded you and that you and McHale didn't get along, but hey, that was in the past. We can't offer you much money, and Melo is actually our number one free agent target, but still. Hold off making any decisions until Melo makes up his mind, okay?
The Raptors brass are meeting with Lowry at some point later today (I'm going to bed).