Even though Kyle Lowry lost a Finals MVP teammate when Kawhi Leonard signed with the Clippers in free agency, the guard revealed he wants to stay in Toronto for the long haul.
“I want to be there — I would love to do a long [term] extension, but we’ll see what happens,” Lowry, who is set to become a free agent after this upcoming season, told reporters Monday (via ESPN) after USA Basketball’s first training camp practice leading up to next month’s World Cup.
“But we’ll have that discussion when the time is right.”
Kyle Lowry says he spoke to Kawhi Leonard before he made his decision to join the Clippers pic.twitter.com/cuclMQW2Ao
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Lowry also addressed playing alongside Leonard as the two led Toronto to its first NBA title in franchise history, defeating the Warriors in six games. Lowry explained that he’s happy for the three-time All-Star and he understood why Leonard chose the Clippers.
“[Leonard leaving] wasn’t a surprise,” Lowry added. “I’m always happy for guys, especially a guy that helped do something fantastic and something great. He’s an unbelievable friend of mine and is a good guy. He made a decision to go home and he is happy with that and I am happy for him. Truly. I am genuinely happy for him. It gives him a chance to be around his family and friends. You got to respect the guy and be happy for him.”
Other than losing Leonard and Danny Green this offseason, the Raptors have kept a fairly similar roster. Lowry said that Leonard’s departure doesn’t take anything away from what Toronto accomplished last season, and he’s still confident the Raptors can make another run at a championship.
“We are champions. No matter what. [It will] never be taken away from us. Ever. Ever, ever. Ever, ever,” Lowry said. “We’re still going to be able to run it back. We’re the champions and we’re trying to defend our title. I’m confident with our team.”