Lowry set for free agency this summer.
The Toronto Raptors are reportedly ready to keep hold of star point guard Kyle Lowry as they look to make a playoff push this season rather than a trade ahead of the deadline.
Having only taken part in the post-season just twice in the last 11 seasons, the Raptors are hoping to end a five-year wait for their fans who continue to crave playoff basketball.
Currently 28-24 for the season and a game-and-a-half ahead of the Chicago Bulls for the third seed, Toronto appear to be on course to extend their campaign beyond the regular season schedule.
Point guard Lowry has played a significant role in their success having enjoyed somewhat of a break-out season, and despite being set for free agency this summer, the Raptors appear intent on keeping hold of him ahead of the February 20 trade deadline.
“We’ve heard it from [Toronto] that he won’t be moved,” a rival front office executive told Yahoo Sports.
However, the downside of such a move is that the Raptors could lose Lowry for nothing this summer instead of trading for future picks and significant pieces this month.
The 27-year-old could be line to be offered a new deal worth around $40m or more over the course of the next four years, but there has been suggestions that Toronto are hesitant in offering him such a contract which would perhaps restrict them in building a competitive roster for the long-term.
That in turn could see him consider offers elsewhere, which would leave Toronto having to make some big decisions in replacing him.
Nevertheless, with this decision, the Raptors are counting on Lowry to help deliver playoff basketball to the fans this season, which will ultimately shelve their rebuilding plans for the time being.