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Kyle Lowry didn’t hold a grudge against Kawhi Leonard, helped integrate him into Raptors’ system

Kyle Lowry, Kawhi Leonard, Raptors

Kyle Lowry didn’t hold any grudges against Kawhi Leonard after he became the main return piece for longtime friend DeMar DeRozan when Toronto Raptors chose to trade him away to the San Antonio Spurs.

While Leonard was the apple that seduced the Raptors’ front office to swing big and end a nine-year partnership with DeRozan, Lowry focused on integrating him to the team, rather than giving him a hard time after his best friend was exiled to the West Coast.

“Me, how I am, I want to make sure he’s comfortable,” Lowry said of Leonard, according to Michael Lee of The Athletic. “He’s the most talented player that we have. He’s our best player. He’s got a ring. Why not? Danny’s been great, too. Nothing is ever awkward because this is a small brotherhood. We all respect what we do.

“I always think about the next kill, not kill, but the next thing to do,” he continued. “I feel people are always going to say something. All I can I do is keep it moving and eat. And make sure everybody else eats. I always want to help everyone else eat and if I help everyone else eat, I’m happy.”

The dynamic between Lowry and Leonard has been very different from the dual backcourt attack from Lowry and DeRozan in past years, as the 6-foot floor general has converted into a prime playmaker, leading the league in assists with 10.2 per game.

Leonard has returned to his high-scoring ways, posting 24.3 points and 8.6 rebounds through the first quarter of his tenure with the Raptors, clearly comfortable with his role and new partnership with Lowry.