As 2014 NBA Free Agency started on midnight of July 1, the word around the league was that the Toronto Raptors were scrambling to try and get a deal done with point guard Kyle Lowry. The hope from the team was that there would be a deal struck between the two parties before dawn on Tuesday, but that hasn’t come to fruition.
With the two sides yet to reach an agreement, other suitors have expectedly thrown their hat into the ring regarding signing Lowry as an unrestricted free agent. The most notable of these teams is undoubtedly the Miami Heat who are looking to beef up their roster in the hopes of trying to retain the Big Three by building a more ample core around the trio of stars.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo!, the Heat are scheduled to talk with Lowry’s agent at some point on Tuesday. Unsurprisingly, the Raptors and general manager Masai Ujiri are scheduled to meet up with Lowry on Tuesday as well. However, the fact that the Heat are making a big play for the point guard is seemingly ramping up the pressure on the Raptors.
While having a team that has made the NBA Finals the past four seasons pursuing your biggest target in free agency is enough of a reason to try and get a deal done quickly, the Raps are reportedly willing to go even further than that. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the pressure being put on Toronto from Miami and other suitors for Lowry is forcing the Raptors’ front office to consider offering Lowry a five-year deal to help entice him to stay.
In his second season with Toronto this past year, Lowry was phenomenal with many arguing that he should have been voted onto the All-Star team. His 17.9 points, 7.4 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 38 percent from long-range this season help lead the Raptors to the postseason, though they were bounced in the first round.
At 28 years old, this could very well be Lowry’s last chance to get a substantial pay day and the last chance for him to secure a long-term contract. In that respect, it’s hard to deny the allure of signing a five-year deal. However, the appeal of playing with the likes of LeBron James and company in Miami is also undeniable. Essentially, Lowry has a difficult decision ahead of him. More importantly, though, the Raptors are facing a bit of an uphill battle to try and re-sign the talented guard.