Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri on Kyle Lowry: 'We didn't know which way it was going to go'

Sometimes trade deadline day is highlighted by the moves that don't get made.

That was certainly the case this year, with legendary Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry set to continue his run with the franchise after a deal was not struck on Thursday.

"Honestly we didn't know which way it was going to go," president Masai Ujiri told reporters according to TSN's Josh Lewenberg. "We came in today looking at both possible ways."

MORE: What's next for the Raptors post-trade deadline?

With the Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers rumoured to be interested in Lowry, any trade involving the six-time All-Star could have significantly altered the 2021 title race.

"To be honest, I viewed him as somebody that could go and put a stamp on what you're trying to do this year. I know if he went to those places, I know what (that could've done), I've lived it, I've seen it," Ujiri said. "If I valued him too much, hey, that's what I believe in."

In his ninth season with the franchise, the 35-year-old is averaging 17.4 points and 7.5 assists per game in what has been a tumultuous year for the team thus far. Holding an 18-26 record, the Raptors currently sit at 11th place in the Eastern Conference standings, 1.5 games behind Chicago for a potential play-in tournament seed.

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On top of being forced to relocate to Tampa Bay due to the pandemic, the franchise has endured significant stints on the sideline for coaching personnel and players under health and safety protocol. It's unclear whether the Raptors will be able to right the ship down the stretch of the regular season, but with Lowry on board, they will present a significant challenge for any contender in the first round if they force their way into the playoffs.

Perhaps more to the point, Raptors fans hold on to a hero.

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