DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are undeniably one of the best backcourt tandems in the NBA. In six years of playing together, both superstars continue to build a good chemistry, which could be the major reason why the Raptors got the No. 1 spot in the Eastern Conference this season. Unfortunately, the regular season only created false hopes to those people who believed the Raptors will represent the East in the 2018 NBA Finals.
In the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Raptors once again got swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers. The explosive backcourt duo of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry proved to be no match for LeBron James, who’s the only legitimate superstar on the Cavaliers’ roster. With the season officially over for the Raptors, they are expected to evaluate their future this summer.
According to Sean Deveney of Sporting News, one of the issues the Raptors are expected to tackle in the upcoming offseason is whether it is time for them to “blow it up” or not. Being buried deep in the luxury tax help, Toronto is currently in no position to chase big names in the upcoming free agency. They also don’t have a first-round pick to fill their roster with young and promising talents. The only way they could improve or rebuild their roster is via trade.
Deveney sees Jonas Valanciunas as the “ideal piece of trade bait.” Unfortunately, though he’s coming off his best season since entering the NBA, there are only a few teams in the league who are looking to add a traditional center to their roster. With their failure to dethrone LeBron James for the third consecutive season, Deveney opens up the possibility that the Raptors may consider trading Kyle Lowry and/or DeMar DeRozan.
Both superstars will undeniably gain lots of suitors, especially those teams who are in dire need of backcourt improvement. However, several factors could prevent the Raptors from getting enough assets to speed up the rebuilding process. DeMar DeRozan may have been named an All-Star four times in the last five years, but interested teams see his existing contract as too expensive for a wing who can’t efficiently shoot from beyond the arc.
His current deal with the Raptors could also be an issue for Kyle Lowry, and at the age of 32, there is no doubt that he is already on the downside of his career. As of now, it remains unknown what will be the Raptors’ plan in the upcoming offseason. LeBron James’ free agency decision will surely play a major role in the fate of DeRozan and Lowry in Toronto.