Mar 12, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) during a break in the action against the Detroit Pistons in the second half at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Detroit 101-87. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
It’s far too early to discuss offseason plans for a team in the midst of a playoff run, but a great question arrives for the Houston Rockets after Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported that the Rockets made an offer at the trade deadline for Toronto Raptors point guard and former Rocket Kyle Lowry.
“Always, too, Lowry loved sitting with GM Daryl Morey and his old assistant, Sam Hinkie, poring over the data revolution that had seeped into the basketball world.
“I guess I was a great analytics player before I even knew what it was,” Lowry says with a laugh. “The things they emphasized – free throws, 3-pointers, layups – were things that were a big part of my game. You can really help yourself if you understand analytics. Not sure you can pick the best team in the world by just using it, but it helps. There’s no doubt in my mind.”
Morey and McHale still felt strongly about Lowry and his talent, and made a bid at the trade deadline to bring him back to the Rockets, league sources said.
Looking back, the unraveling under McHale still festers with Lowry. He wishes he had been smarter, surer of himself, less combative in carving out his turf in the NBA. He wishes he had grown up sooner. For Lowry, reaching peace with these revelations gave him the chance to change everything with the Raptors.
“I would have done things differently in Houston,” Lowry says. “I really respected Kevin McHale. I wish I would have had an opportunity to play for him longer. The things he was teaching me, well, I didn’t understand right away. When you get away from someone, though, see it from the outside looking in, you go back and think, ‘Damn, I could’ve learned some more things from the guy.’
“I wanted to stay with Coach Adelman and needed to get over that. [McHale] came in with a different philosophy, and I wish I could’ve adapted to it quicker.”
Lowry talked about his rise with the Raptors this season, but spent a good deal of time talking about what went wrong during his final days as a Rocket in 2012.
Averaging 17.2 points, 7.9 assists, and 4.7 rebounds while leading the Raptors to the number 3 seed in the East currently, reports are indicating that new general manager Masai Ujiri will try to re-sign Lowry this summer after not trading him at the deadline, as he is set to become an unrestricted free agent.
But his price may be too steep for Toronto as Wojnarowski believes he will be in the $10-$12 million range per year, which begs the question: could the Rockets make a push to bring Lowry back?
Based off basic stats alone, it would indicate Lowry would be a good fit in the backcourt next to James Harden: Lowry is shooting a career high 38 percent from behind the 3-point line, and shot 37 percent in his final two seasons with the Rockets, while averaging 6.4 assists last year and 7.8 this season playing alongside ball-dominate offensive players in Rudy Gay and Demar Derozan.
His game this season also matches the Rockets’ heavy, analytics-based offense, as 53 percent of his shots have come from either the 3-point line or inside the paint.
The summer of 2014 should be interesting, and filled with much hype, as earlier this week, reports indicated that the Rockets may make a run a possible free agent Carmelo Anthony as well.