Point guard Kyle Lowry insists he hasn’t thought about his future with the Toronto Raptors.
The 31-year-old says he will opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent July 1.
A day after the Raptors’ season ended in a four-game sweep by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Lowry didn’t hint about his intentions or the criteria for his decision.
“Honestly man, I wanna just get better, I wanna have fun, I wanna win a ring. I want to make sure my family is happy,” Lowry said. “And that’s all I’ve thought about right now.
“Honestly, I wouldn’t BS you guys. I would, but not this time. Not this time.”
The Raptors met with the media on their traditional post-season locker cleanout day.
Lowry verbally sparred with reporters, who asked numerous times about his intentions.
“You know what? That’s a good question. Haven’t thought about it though,” he said. “I’ve said that three times already. Four. That’ll be my fourth time. I’m gonna say it one more time. Only thing I’ve thought about is opting out. Which I will do. And getting better as a basketball player. Those two things.
“Wanna try again?” he laughed.
Whether Lowry chooses to stay or leave, DeMar DeRozan said he’ll support whatever decision his friend and teammate makes.
“I never looked at it or tried to put it into perspective, what it would be like without him,” DeRozan said. “It’s going to be a decision on him that he’s going to have to make, and I support him 100 per cent.
“We gained something that goes way beyond basketball. So that’s why when it comes to things like this, I don’t put the pressure on him, or I don’t say: do this, do that. He’s got to make the decision, as a friend I’ve got to be there to support him.”
Lowry’s status is just one of numerous questions the team faces in an off-season of uncertainty. There have been questions about the future of Dwane Casey, but both Lowry and DeRozan had kind words for the six-year Raptors coach.
“Even when we had our bad days, our good days, we stuck by him,” DeRozan said. “One thing about Case, Case is one hell of a person outside of a coach.
“When you’ve got a coach that’s a great guy like Case, the bad can flip quick into the good days. He’s been the same with his funny quotes, his sayings. . . sometimes he hits us with that and the whole room started laughing.”
Lowry said he and Casey have butted heads but added the coach allowed him to “become a three-time all-star and allow me to become the player I am and have a voice.
“He’s been great to me. He’s helped me tremendously, helped me be me, a better man, a better basketball player. Coach has always been in my corner and had my back.
“I think our relationship has grown from here,” Lowry added, holding up a hand, “to here.”
Casey was scheduled to speak to the media later Monday.Report Typo/Error