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Fred VanVleet wants Raptors to keep Kyle Lowry ‘as long as possible’; insists they can play together

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Even in the absence of Los Angeles Clippers newcomer Kawhi Leonard, veteran point guard Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors are expected to remain near the top of the Eastern Conference in 2019-20. A big reason for this notion surrounds the fact that the Raptors have had a litany of talented role players emerge over the course of the last year or so — point guard¬†Fred VanVleet included.

Despite playing the same position as his seasoned counterpart in Lowry, VanVleet hopes that the longtime Raptors signal caller remains north of the border in Toronto for a long time.

“I’m super happy for Kyle,” VanVleet recently told Josh Lewenberg of TSN. “We want that guy around as long as possible. It’s not like it’s the old days where there’s a QB and a backup QB and I can’t play if he’s playing. We play together more than we don’t. So it’s good to have him.”

Lowry recently signed a one-year contract extension to remain with the Raptors for at least another go-round while his presence surely gives the Eastern Conference powerhouse a major boost both on the floor and away from the court. A leader in the locker room and a vital piece of the puzzle for head coach Nick Nurse, Lowry is obviously doing a great job of mentoring VanVleet as well.

The defending NBA Champion Raptors will be forced to compete with a slew of talented teams in the Eastern Conference this season, though the Milwaukee Bucks will surely enter the upcoming campaign as the favorites to become the No. 1 seed come playoff time.