Six predictions for the next decade of Toronto Raptors basketball

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Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors – Kyle Lowry (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Kyle Lowry retires as a member of the Toronto Raptors

The greatest Raptor of all time will retire with the team, you heard it here first. This means that he will finish his playing career with the Raptors and ride off into the sunset in Toronto. None of that one-day deal stuff.

Kyle Lowry signed an extension that will extend his stay in Toronto until the summer of 2021. However, it seems likely that Lowry will stay with the Raptors beyond that, at least on a short-term deal.

The next contract Kyle Lowry signs very well could be his last. But as it stands, the 33-year old has aged like a fine wine.

This season he is averaging 20.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 7.4 assists. He is not showing signs of slowing down anytime soon, shooting 41-percent from the field and 36-percent from three.

On July 1st, 2021 Lowry will hit free agency at 35-years old. Toronto must avoid getting locked into a pricy long-term deal.

This is not to say that when Lowry becomes a free agent he will be an average player. Others in the 33-plus category such as J.J. Redick and Andre Igoudala have more than proved they still belong in the league.

A best-case scenario situation for Lowry’s upcoming contract would be to sign him to a team-friendly three-year deal with an opt-out in the final year. This way the Raptors can ride out Lowry’s eventual slow decline and decide what to do next when he hits free agency again at age 37.

Toronto’s front office will need to take a cautious approach in this situation. Fred VanVleet is coming up on a contract year and at 25-years old he could be hungry for a starting spot elsewhere. However, it could be a deal sweetener for VanVleet to stay in Toronto knowing that eventually, he will be the keyholder to the Raptors offense.

Kyle Lowry has long been open about his desire to stay in Toronto long-term. In addition, he just captured his first championship ring which lowers the threat of him leaving in pursuit of a title. It seems unlikely he would leave the Raptors to chase a ring but, stranger things have happened.

If you were worried about Lowry leaving and playing elsewhere, you should not be. The greatest Raptor of all time is going to finish his career in Toronto.

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