The Toronto Raptors were ecstatic to acquire point guard Kyle Lowry from the Houston Rockets prior to last season. The organization firmly believed Lowry was the player that was going to lead them in the right direction over the next several years. Unfortunately, the 27-year-old failed to impress and must now prove his worth in his contract year if he wants to remain a member of the Raptors.
“We have a young, talented point guard is just starting to come into his prime,” former Toronto general manager Bryan Colangelo said during Lowry’s introductory press conference, according to Yahoo! Sports. “He has performed at a top 10 level in the point guard category the past couple of years. We feel that given an opportunity, and given the chance to take over a team, and given the keys so to speak, he’s got a chance to continue to grow in that position and continue to develop into an elite point guard.”
Lowry averaged 11.6 points, 6.4 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. However, he shot a measly 40.1 percent from the field and 36.2 percent from beyond the arc in just 68 games (52 starts) last season.
Obviously, the numbers Lowry put up were not exactly what the Raptors had in mind when they traded for him. Maybe it was the fact that there was no competition at the point guard position last summer, or maybe Lowry felt that Toronto had invested so much in him that they were not going to take the job away from him. Whatever it is that prevented him from performing at a high-level last year must change if he wants to continue playing basketball.
Even though Lowry is basically guaranteed the starting point guard position for the 2013-14 season, he must step his game up if he wants to see a sizeable contract. At least he will be given every opportunity to show what he can do. The Raptors should have the pieces in place to make some noise in the Eastern Conference, which should take some of the work load off of Lowry so that he can concentrate on helping the team in specific areas.