From North Philly to your City and everywhere in-between, all-star guard Kyle Lowry is always being talked about. From trade rumors buzzing to talk of him reaching 10,000 points in a Raptors uniform, the 34-year-old guard continues to have his presence felt right across the league. With 10,000 points and counting, here’s a look at what Kyle has done in a Raptors uniform:
Lowry joined the squad from the north during the off-season in 2012. Lowry had a great start as a Raptor averaging 23 points and seven assists through his first three games, but then suffered an injury in the fourth game of the season. Once he was ready to return, he became the backup guard behind José Calderon. Lowry was able to retake the starting position when Calderon was traded in a deal bringing in Rudy Gay at the end of January. He took hold of the lead guard spot for the Raps and has never let it go.
The Raptors started off the 2013-2014 season with an underwhelming six wins and twelve losses. The team’s leading scorer, Rudy Gay, was shipped off to Sacramento and it appeared as though the team was primed for a rebuild, at least until DeMar DeRozan and Lowry got the chance to talk. Kyle and DeMar decided to take control of the squad and have them compete for a spot in the post-season, rather than rebuild. Led by excellent play and leadership from the six-foot guard out of Villanova, the Raps finished the season with a franchise best 48 wins, earning the third seed in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors were eliminated in game seven of the first round when Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce blocked a game-winning shot attempt by Lowry. While the Raptors had an early exit out of the 2013-2014 playoffs, they certainly had more great years to come under the leadership of Lowry.
The Raptors kept the momentum from the previous season going and once again emerged as a top team in the east. In early November, Kyle earned his fourth triple-double in a Raptors uniform, taking over the lead for that category. He also scored a career high 39 points in early December. Lowry earned his first all-star nod, becoming the third Raptor to earn a starting position. The Raptors once again earned a franchise record for wins, besting their previous record by one single win. The Raptors entered the playoffs with homecourt advantage but were swept by the Washington Wizards in the first round.
The Raptors kicked off the 2015 season with a bang by winning five straight games. Lowry was playing as if he had unfinished business, scoring a career-high 41 points with six three-pointers in early December. He was once again given the nod to be a starter in the all-star game and helped the Raptors earn a franchise-record 11-game win streak. Kyle added his sixth triple-double as a Raptor and helped to lead the team to a franchise-record 56 wins. The team from the north earned an Atlantic Division banner and the second seed in the Eastern Conference. Lowry struggled offensively in the first-round, though that didn’t stop the Raps from eliminating the Indiana Pacers. Lowry found his offense in the second-round and helped lead the Raptors to the Eastern Conference Finals by defeating the Heat in seven games. The all-star guard scored 35 while adding seven boards, nine assists, and four steals. The Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, were able to handle the Raptors in six games and advance to the NBA Finals. Lowry finished a phenomenal season by earning a spot on the All-NBA Third Team.
Having made the Eastern Conference finals in 2016, the Raptors had put the entire league on notice entering the 2016-2017 season. Lowry recorded his seventh triple-double as a Raptor in early February and became the franchise leader in 3-pointers made with 802 the very next day. Lowry went down with a wrist injury but was able to return prior to the playoffs. The Raptors were swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers, once again led by the King, in the second round of the playoffs. Lowry missed game three and four due to an ankle injury. After the season had concluded, Kyle declined his $12 million player option, becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Lowry re-signed with the team on July 7, 2017. Locked in for three years and $100 million, the pressure on the multi-time all-star to take the Raps to the promise land was mounting. Lowry was selected for the fourth time as an all-star, though not as a starter. In early February, he recorded his 11,000th career point. He added his tenth triple-double as a Raptor in late March. In round one of the 2018 playoffs, the Raptors defeated the Washington Wizards in six games. Lowry had a career playoff-high 12 assists in game six. The Raptors were swept in the second round by the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second straight year.
With DeMar DeRozan being traded for Kawhi Leonard in the off-season, the 2018-2019 season was definitely going to be interesting. Kyle’s longtime best-friend and teammate DeRozan was gone and replaced with a one year “swing for the fences” shot at a championship in Kawhi Leonard. The Raptors took a hollow revenge win in the season opener against the Cavs, with Lowry dropping 27 points and eight assists. Kyle earned another all-star ticket and helped lead the Raps to a record of 58-24. In the Eastern Conference Finals, Lowry surpassed DeMar DeRozan as the playoff scoring leader for the Raptors. The Raptors took care of the Milwaukee Bucks, led by MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, in just six games. They went on to defeat the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals earning the first NBA Championship in franchise history.
Lowry signed a one-year, $31 million extension in early October. The departure of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green had trade rumors buzzing. Coming off a championship season, there were multiple contenders looking to solidify their starting point-guard position and chase a ring. Ultimately, nothing came of the talks and Kyle remained a Raptor. The Raptors came back from a 30-point deficit, their biggest in franchise history, in December and in August, Lowry posted a career-high 14 rebounds. The Raptors were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the second round inside of the NBA Bubble in Orlando, Florida.
The Raptors are off to a 7-11 start in this shortened 72-game season. On January 27, 2021, Kyle Lowry scored his 10,000th point as a Raptor, joining DeMar DeRozan and Chris Bosh as the only Raptors to reach the milestone. He also recorded his 4000th assist with the squad on January 14. While the Raptors don’t appear to be a contender this season, Kyle reaching the milestone of 10,000 points as a Raptor definitely gives us something to celebrate this year.