Toronto Raptors stand pat on star point guard Kyle Lowry as trade deadline passes

15:24 ET

Tim Bontempspen.

The Toronto Raptors keep star point guard Kyle Lowry without moving the franchise’s icon, missing Thursday’s trade deadline.

Lowry, who turned 35 on Thursday, was the biggest available target at the deadline this year: The six-time All-Star point guard and champion was coveted by several rival teams. Lowry remains one of the best defenders in the NBA this season. He averages 17.4 points and 7.5 assists per game, while shooting 39% from 3-point range and remains one of the league’s best defenders.

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Ultimately, Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri couldn’t find an offer that would force him to trade the franchise’s icon – and Lowry was always fine with his season ending in Toronto, sources told ESPN.

Lowry will enter the free agent market this summer.

In the weeks leading up to the deadline, Philadelphia and Miami were repeatedly linked to Lowry, giving him the option of returning to Philadelphia, where he played at Villanova before transferring to the NBA, or joining his good friend Jimmy Butler at the defending Eastern Conference champion Heat.

When making a bid for Lowry, teams had to consider whether he would be for hire for one season or whether they could meet his contractual expectations to remain in Free Agency. This has affected the boundaries that teams are willing to cross.

Lowry emphasized Wednesday night that he doesn’t know what will happen – and that he’s fine with it, including his possible stint with the Raptors during this season.

Whatever it is, it will be, honest, he said. That’s right. Whatever it is, it will be. After all, everything happens for a reason. You can’t control everything, and in some situations you can, but all the decisions I’ve made and all the choices I’ve made have worked out very well for me, and everything is going to be fine.

Everything works out in the end, no matter what.

He ended up staying with the Raptors.

It’s been a disappointing season for Toronto, which lost nine games Wednesday night in an overwhelming win over Denver – a game in which Lowry was plus-42. The Raptors, who are playing in Tampa, Florida, this season because of the ongoing COWID-19 pandemic, are 1.5 games behind the Chicago Bulls, who are 10th in the Eastern Conference standings.

In addition to Lowry, the Raptors also traded Norman Powell – another expiring contract – to the Portland Trail Blazers for Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Trent, a restricted free agent, should fit in well with Toronto’s young core – Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam – as Toronto officially bids farewell to the group that won the title two years ago and moves on to the organization’s next era.

Toronto also made two minor moves, sending guards Terence Davis and Matt Thomas to Sacramento and Utah, respectively, for future secondary picks, sources told Wojnarowski.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski contributed to this report.

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