The greatest Raptor of All Time is leaving Toronto.
Reports have Kyle Lowry heading to the Miami Heat in a sign-and-trade deal. Yahoo’s Vincent Goodwill had the news first:
Kyle Lowry is expected to sign a three-year deal with the Miami Heat via sign and trade with the Toronto Raptors, sources tell @YahooSports— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) August 2, 2021
The AP’s Tim Reynolds soon followed up:
Kyle Lowry prefers to sign a three-year deal, with no options, in what will become a sign-and-trade that sends him to the Miami Heat, source tells AP.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) August 2, 2021
We still don’t know the terms of the deal (expected to be around $90 million over the three years) or who’s coming back to Toronto, or possibly being routed elsewhere.
All we know for sure is: The Kyle Lowry in Toronto era is over.
In a way, Lowry leaving the Raptors now feels a touch anti-climactic; after all, we were all set to say goodbye at last season’s trade deadline, especially after he torched the Denver Nuggets on deadline eve in what seemed like a farewell game. But the right offer never came, and Lowry stuck around for a few more games, including an absolute gem against the Los Angeles Lakers — a Raptors win in which Lowry dropped 37 points on 20 shots, drained eight three-pointers and dished out 11 assists.
Lowry, 35, has spent the past nine seasons with the Raptors, racking up all kinds of statistical feats, records and highlights. He re-signed with Toronto twice, and added an extension to his deal in 2019. He’s a six-time All-Star, made all-NBA in 2016 and he’s the franchise leader in assists, steals, 3-pointers made, and triple doubles (he’s also second in points, games and minutes, and third in rebounds). If you wanna look at the advanced numbers, he’s number one in total win shares (and both offensive and defensive win shares) and value over replacement player, and second in box plus-minus. He holds pretty much every franchise playoff record, including wins — and of course, he helped lead the team to its only title in 2019.
There isn’t really an argument anymore that Lowry is the greatest Raptor of all time — he just is — and someday he’ll have his jersey retired and a statue built in his honour.
We’ll have much more analysis, including details on the sign-and-trade, to come. And yes: we’ll surely have some eulogies, too. For now, I hope everyone will join me in celebrating Lowry’s Raptors career, remembering the many, many highlights, and being happy for him that he’s getting paid and getting the chance to continue contributing to winning well into the twilight of his career.
And hey, if you wanna share your favourite Kyle Lowry memories in the comments, don’t let us stop you!