Would the Toronto Raptors have been better than the current Clippers if Kawhi stayed?

Toronto Raptors - Serge Ibaka (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Serge Ibaka (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Kyle Lowry and Patrick Beverley (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Point Guard

Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry

Los Angeles Clippers: Patrick Beverley

There is a lot to love about both Kyle Lowry and Patrick Beverley.

Beverley’s best quality is his lockdown defence. He has been a plus player each year of his career, consistently producing impressive defensive metrics. He is also a two-time All-Defensive Team member. Beverley is, without a doubt, better than Lowry in this facet of the game at this point in their careers.

That is not to say that Lowry is a poor defender. He is aggressive on defence, and as an undersized point guard, often finds himself in difficult matchups. Despite his physical limitations, Lowry almost always finds a way to prevail. Lowry will get into his man on the perimeter and the paint. He’s also one of the best players in the league at drawing charges.

Offensively, Lowry initiates far more action. He is a tremendous passer and uses that skill to involve his teammates. Last season, Lowry averaged 8.7 dimes per game. He averaged greater than six assists per contest each of the last nine seasons. Beverley has a career average of 3.5 assists per game, posting a career-high of 4.2 in the 2016-17 campaign.

From the three-point line, the pair are very similar shooters percentage-wise. Beverley owns a 38-percent average from outside and Lowry’s career percentage is 36.7. Lowry is a much more frequent shooter and at times attempts difficult shots. He also has the ability to make many of them.

Lowry is often motivating his team on the court and working through how plays could be improved. As a leader and a teacher, Lowry is the heart of the Raptors. As much as Beverley can frustrate his opponents, with more experience and depth to his game, Lowry is the overall better player.

Advantage: Toronto Raptors