Kyle Lowry stays with Raptors for $31M

Kyle Lowry in action during the first half of Game Six of the 2019 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on 13 June 2019 in Oakland, California. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images/AFP)

NEW YORK — Five-time NBA All-Star guard Kyle Lowry has agreed to a one-year contract extension with reigning champion Toronto Raptors worth $31 million.

The move takes Lowry out of next July’s free agency market and follows the $33.4 million the 33-year-old will make this year in the final season of his expiring deal, according to agent Mark Bartelstein.

The deal would produce the largest salary cap hit for an NBA player who will be 34 or older.

Keeping Lowry solidifies the core roster for the defending NBA champions, who lost NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Kawhi Leonard to the Los Angeles Clippers in a major setback to their repeat hopes.

The Raptors are expected to rely more upon Pascal Siakam, last season’s NBA Most Improved Player, and they still have Spanish stars Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, whose contracts expire after this season.

Toronto keeps trade options open for Lowry while retaining the talent to return to the playoffs in a tougher Eastern Conference with Milwaukee and Philadelphia as top contenders to dethrone the Raptors.

Lowry, a member of the United States’ gold medal team at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, averaged 14.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, a career-high 8.7 assists and 1.4 steals a game last season, his 12th NBA campaign.

Lowry was traded from Memphis to Houston in 2009 in his third NBA season and he was traded to Toronto in 2012.

p: wjg