Toronto Raptors Acquisition of Serge Ibaka Has Made Re-Signing Kyle Lowry Impossible?
The recent acquisition of Serge Ibaka will definitely boost the Toronto Raptors' bid to finally break the spell and once and for all reach the NBA Finals. And that's not just for this season alone as the Raptors management will pursue Ibaka into re-signing during the offseason with the intention of having him for the long-term.
As tweeted by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical,
Sources: Toronto is trading for Ibaka with intention of trying to re-sign him in free agency this summer. Masai Ujiri has long coveted him.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 14, 2017
Sam Amick of USA Today also confirmed the story,
Toronto sends Terrence Ross and a first to Orlando for Serge Ibaka, I can confirm. @WojVerticalNBA first reported — Sam Amick (@sam_amick) February 14, 2017
The Raptors have two first-round picks in the coming NBA Draft 2017, the other one via the Los Angeles Clippers. Per Woj sources, as part of the trade for Ibaka, the Raptors will send the lower pick to Orlando.
A known baseline defensive force, Ibaka will greatly boost the team's defense playing alongside Jonas Valanciunas. In addition, Ibaka has been consistently contributing big numbers on the offensive end which would greatly remove responsability off DeMar DeRozan.
The Problem with Re-Signing Serge Ibaka
However, the problem with acquiring and re-signing Ibaka during the offseason could greatly affect future negotiations to bring Kyle Lowry back next season. As pointed out by Sporting News, "After spending to retain DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas over the last few summers while also adding DeMarre Carroll and Cory Joseph, the Raptors had extremely little flexibility to add new talent in 2017 especially since Kyle Lowry will also hit free agency this summer."
Many basketball analysts believe that the 6'0" All-Star point guard who will turn 31 this March will decline the $12 million player option. This is due to the fact that Lowry's camp expects a maximum salary offer of $35.7 million based on the current cap estimate of $102 million.
Nevertheless, some basketball analysts also believe that the Raptors executives will push to bring back Lowry, but at whose expense? Some say the direction is pointing towards DeMarre Carroll, the third highest-paid Raptor.
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