The July 18 trade that sent Kawhi Leonard to Toronto in exchange for DeMar DeRozan shook up both the Raptors and Spurs franchises and fan bases. But often lost in the emotions surrounding this trade is the on-court impact.
NBA.com’s Matthew Blum feels Kyle Lowry could be the biggest beneficiary of the deal.
When Leonard is creating his own offense — which he will a lot — Lowry becomes a very dangerous off-ball threat of his own.
While the plurality of his shots were pull-ups last season (40.2 percent), Lowry posted a better catch-and-shoot effective FG percentage than CJ McCollum, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal, to name a few. With even more spacing this season, Lowry has a chance to become one of the premier catch-and-shoot threats in the league.
Lowry is coming off his fourth consecutive All-Star season in which he averaged 16.2 points, 6.9 assists and 5.6 rebounds over 78 games. He has shot at least 38 percent from 3-point range in each of his last three seasons on more than seven attempts per game. That level of shooting should allow Leonard to find lanes to the basket and either finish at the rim or kick out to Lowry for an open look.
After multiple playoff disappointments, Raptors president Masai Ujiri decided he needed to make a big splash and give Toronto a chance to finally escape the East. If the acquisition of Leonard and Danny Green can propel Lowry to a higher level, this team becomes a serious contender.
That would certainly be a welcome sight among Raptors fans.