DeMar DeRozan considered Raptors reunion if Kyle Lowry returned

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: DeMar DeRozan #10 and Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: DeMar DeRozan #10 and Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images) /

Over the last few seasons, the Toronto Raptors have had to part ways with two players that are indisputably among the top four greatest performers to ever play for the club. DeMar DeRozan’s trade to San Antonio was followed up by a sign-and-trade that sent Kyle Lowry to the Miami Heat.

The 2021 free agency cycle was unique in that both Lowry and DeRozan were up for grabs. After Lowry’s move to Miami, DeRozan ended up joining the Chicago Bulls. The move looks to have been a smashing success thus far, as DeRozan is shooting the lights out with regularity.

Even though DeRozan is now in his fourth season away from the team, he still thinks about the Raptors and those passionate Toronto fans. If the Lowry swap never happened, DeRozan may have considered slipping on that familiar Raptors jersey once again.

On former Raptors big Serge Ibaka’s “How Hungry are You?” show, DeRozan said that he considered returning to Toronto if Lowry was going to stay. While returning to the Raptors and going back home to Los Angeles to play for the Clippers interested DeRozan, he ultimately opted for being the featured option in Chicago.

DeMar DeRozan almost reunited with Kyle Lowry on the Toronto Raptors.

“My history there is stamped and sealed and it started with me and Kyle,” DeRozan said. “That’s the only person that I want to keep it rolling with. I wouldn’t feel like myself if I went back trying to be like I was.” If we’re to take him at his word, a Lowry-DeRozan reunion almost came to fruition.

Luckily, all parties involved seemed to be at peace with their respective decisions and thriving in 2021-22. DeRozan’s Bulls may have gone through a rough patch, but they have established themselves as a team that absolutely no one wants to face when they’re all healthy.

Lowry’s Heat are at the top of the Eastern Conference in no small part thanks to the combination of two-way skill and leadership that he has provided. Toronto, meanwhile, moved forward with a dynamic young core centered around Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes.

There was likely no way that Lowry and DeRozan could’ve returned to Toronto financially, but the thought of getting the band back together clearly stuck out in DeRozan’s mind. Even if DeRozan doesn’t play one more game in Raptors colors, the impact that his 1-2 punch with Lowry had on this franchise will never be forgotten.

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