The Future Is Now? (Lowry to Raptors)

So with the Raptors striking out on the Nash front, Bryan Colangelo has shifted into desperation mode and looks willing to give up on the future for the chance of helping the Raptors squeak into the playoffs next season.

This just in, the Raptors have sent Gary Forbes and a future first round pick with “little lottery protection” to Houston for Kyle Lowry.

Now I like Lowry. He’s a talented PG who plays good defense and can hit the three. Before he became ill last season, he was playing near All -Star basketball.

That doesn’t mean I’m incredibly happy with the deal. First of all, I HATE the idea of giving up a lottery pick, especially for a team with so little real talent. Unless Lowry turns into a perennial All Star, I’d rather keep the lottery pick and take my chances.

Another problem I have is whether he’s really that much of an upgrade over Jose Calderon. Yes, he’s a better defender than Calderon, but Calderon is a better passer. And Calderon is also a much better shooter.  Lowry is a career 42% shooter, from the field compared to Calderon’s 48%.

And while Lowry is younger, it’s not as if he’s THAT young. He’s 26, so it’s doubtful he gets much better than he is right now. And he’s only 4 years younger than Calderon.

The other problem with Lowry, especially when you’re talking about him replacing Calderon, is that he hasn’t played a full season since his second. In fact, in the last five season, Lowry has missed MORE games than Calderon. One of the biggest reasons for replacing Calderon was his lack of durability, but will Lowry be an improvement at all, in that department?

Of course, my biggest problem with the deal is that it appears Colangelo will do anything it takes to push the Raptors into the playoffs, even if it means mortgaging their future. The trade for Lowry is another one of those base hits (like drafting Terrence Ross or signing Landry Fields) that raise the floor for the team without pushing up the ceiling very much. That would be fine if the Raptors had some elite talent for these players to compliment, but they don’t. As it is, the players are complimenting themselves, which doesn’t really work.

While I’m sure there are more moves to come, at this point, the Raptors have only improved themselves marginally over last season. Considering that the Nets and Wizards have improved much more than the Raptors have, it’s really hard to see the Raptors making the playoffs next year. It’s not that I have a problem with them not making the playoffs (if you think that, you haven’t been reading my posts), it’s just that Colangelo has now given away the draft pick that would make it worthwhile.

11 thoughts on “The Future Is Now? (Lowry to Raptors)

  1. I like the post, and agree with many of your points except one. On the surface, I too hate dealing away future first rounders when in the midst of rebuilding (has BC ever “acquired” a top pick?), however, given the Raps fairly horrid (JV may be the exception) draft history, I’d almost rather he not have a top pick next year. I’m getting tired of being depressed on draft night.

  2. Lowry has a bit more tools than Calderon. He can defend and shoot off the dribble.

    He’s like a combo between Calderon and J-Bayless.

    Anyway, I like him, not that much, but it’s not as bad as it looks. What’s the percentage of out of top 5 guys who were better than Lowry?

    • @Chris

      The one thing Colangelo has been, at the very least, pretty good at is drafting. The only pick I didn’t like was Bargnani. Davis and DeRozan weren’t bad picks in the least. There’s no one after Davis that looks better than him, at the moment, and while there are a few drafted after DeRozan that look good, no one that makes him look bad.

      Besides, if you’re going to start giving up draft picks because you don’t like who the GM picks, then you have to get a new GM.


      As I said, I like him, I just don’t think the upgrade is worth giving up a lottery pick for. Especially not for this team.

  3. It’s not a lottery pick, it’s a protected lottery pick, there’s a difference. If the pick falls between 3-14 next season, in whats shaping up to be a historically week draft, then the Rockets will get that pick. If not, then they’ll get the 2014 pick if it falls between the range of 2-14 and so on and so on.

    We know where true elite-level talent lies in the draft, and it’s very possible, assuming the Raps miss the playoffs, that the Rockets will get that 2013 pick in the range of 3-14, which doesn’t hurt the Raps as much as you make it sound.

    • @Rex,

      Yes, it’s a protected pick, but HOuston is basically guaranteed to get a lottery pick. And the Raptors could miss out on a top 3 pick for Kyle Lowry? I don’t like that gamble.

      And I realize the chance of finding an elite player below the top 5 is slim, but my feeling is that if you’re a lottery team with as little talent as the Raptors have, the last thing you should be doing is trading away lottery picks.


      Yes, I’ve read that before. It’s an incredibly flawed argument because the list includes a lot of teams that were simply managed badly, hence why they were bad. Bad management will kill a team no matter what their strategy.

      And Lowry certainly has a good contract, and I don’t have a problem with Lowry as a player In fact I like him. I think he’ll immediately become the best player on the team. Unfortunately the Raptors might end up giving up a top 3 pick for him, which is a very idea, in my opinion.

      And while Lowry has a good contract, Bargnani does not and neither does Fields (another guy I like, just not really for this team right now).


      As I said, the picks are protected, but Houston is basically guaranteed a lottery pick, and it could be as high as 3.

      And, yes, the Raptors have a number of young players, it’s just unfortunate that most of them are not very good.

  4. We got Lowry for the next two years, at a decent price. From what I understand, the 1 and 2 picks are protected, so I am not too concerned about losing the pick. We are adding two rookies to an already youngish team next season.
    Lets worry more about the young players we have than the one that got away.
    I am curious to see what comes next. With an offer made to Bayless, newly acquired Lowry, and Jose’s expirying deal, I wonder if BC starts the season with all 3, maybe giving Bayless some time at SG position or, more likely another move up his sleeve that you will not like.

  5. I don’t like the protection. It should be top 5 protected for a few years. To think there was the chance of getting him with the Ross pick instead of the 4th pick next year!

  6. A correction to what I wrote earlier…..the pick will go to the Rockets next year if it falls between 4 and 14, not 3 and 14. If there were a time for missing the playoffs and letting Houston have the pick, it’d be this coming season, in what’s said to be a very weak draft. I know that many Rockets fans were expecting much more for Lowry.

    I also disagree with your idea that he won’t get much better, he’s only been starting for about a year-and-a-half, and has improved season over season in that span.

    It has potential to work out many different ways, very bad or very good, so we’ll have to wait and see. But isn’t it time BC took a risk?

  7. 1. i like lowry. he’s not a world-changer, but he’s more than solid, and gives them two-way ability at the PG position that hasn’t been there since…boogie?

    2. i don’t mind giving up the pick; in order to get value, you have to give value (unless you’re NO, and you get ryan anderson for ayon. but i digress). i agree in principle that a rebuilding team shouldn’t be giving up lottery picks, but much it’s speculation on both sides right now what that pick will be. if it’s the 13th pick in a weak draft, then it’s a big win for the raps…3rd pick? not so much. big caveat is that the expectation is that – with JV, ross, fields & lowry coming in, and the opportunity for improving the roster more using calderon as trade bait – the team *should* improve upon the previous season (it’s hard to imagine that they’ll be worse). IMO, worst case in terms of a pick is in the #10 range, which i can live with.

    3. of course, i can’t look at the lowry trade in isolation; you can’t ignore that fields is now on this team (which doesn’t really fill a need) on a bad contract (at least the last year). i certainly like him, but…overall, he’s a ‘meh.’ if BC had simply targeted lowry all along, he may have been able to make this deal earlier, and perhaps have gotten tighter protection on the pick….or perhaps been able to use players on the current roster in a trade instead.

    4. overall, it’s a good bounce-back from the nash fiasco (which BC created for himself), and it almost offsets fields. but again, we see a whole lot of activity, and assets (in this case, a future pick (lowry), a current pick (ross) & cap space (fields) to fill one position of need (PG)…and you could argue that this wasn’t really a position of need at all.

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