Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry will be vital to team’s success in new role

Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

After a bumpy offseason, Kyle Lowry is looking to make a statement for the Toronto Raptors this year, regardless of the lineup around him.

It could be argued over the past four seasons, that no player has been more important to the Toronto Raptors than Kyle Lowry.

Despite averaging 17.8 points and 6.8 assists per game in his Toronto Raptors’ tenure, Lowry has flown under-the-radar. Though in the shadows, he has been a catalyst to the Raptors’ success since he came from the Houston Rockets in 2012.

In ESPN’s NBArank for 2018-19, Lowry was slated at 21st overall. In their explanation, he is referred to as a “second fiddle” on his own team. A second fiddle that had 10.2 win shares, despite a modest usage rate of 21.7-percent. The win shares’ tally was the third-highest of his career, while the usage was his second-lowest since coming to Toronto.

The offseason was a hurdle for the guard as his friend and teammate DeMar DeRozan was dealt to the San Antonio Spurs. While the move might have been the best decision for the team, it’s easy to see how anyone would be upset after losing their best friend.

The preceding offseason saw Lowry not only decline comment on the trade but the team as a whole. Despite the underlying tension between Lowry and the franchise, he is set up to enjoy one of the best seasons of his career under new head coach Nick Nurse.

This year, Lowry is set to find his groove once again, with his usage rate seeing a generous spike.