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Raptors’ Kyle Lowry opens up about mid-season talks with Masai Ujiri, trade speculations

Raptors, Masai Ujiri, Kyle Lowry

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry has been huge for the team in the Eastern Conference Finals, providing much-needed help to Kawhi Leonard and making plays happen when the team needed it the most. He clearly showed how valuable he is to the team.

But things weren’t as smooth sailing as it is now. During the start of the season, Lowry seemed to be frustrated with the Raptors’ ownership when he knew that his closest friend on the team, DeMar DeRozan, was traded. He also struggled to co-exist with Leonard, leading to trade speculations during the trade deadline. The All-Star guard knew that he needs to clear things up, so he talked to team president Masai Ujiri.

In an interview with The Star’s Bruce Arthur, Lowry opened up about the mid-season conversation he had with Ujiri. He didn’t give any specifics, but that talk seemed to have led to him giving his full commitment to what the Raptors wanted to achieve this season.

“It was just a basic conversation on things, talking not about any specifics, not about the DeMar trade, but about what are we going to do?” Lowry said. “That’s what that was. Not, am I in, but (Masai saying), ‘We want to win, we believe in you, let’s have this conversation about ill feelings, if you have any towards me.’ Which I didn’t. I just kept it as a simply professional relationship, and we both had a professional relationship. He felt the same way, that our team wasn’t going the direction it could be going, and we had a conversation about it.”

Ujiri was direct to the point when he talked to Lowry. The executive wanted his player to be the best that he can be because he believed in him. And Kyle has responded well following their dialogue.

“I always feel like I’m always all in. Honestly. But … it was a conversation of, ‘Listen, we want you to be this. Can you be this for us or not? Be who you are. Be the player that we want you to be.’ ” Be Kyle Freaking Lowry? “Exactly.”

Now, Lowry is in sync with the Raptors, and last night’s win against the Milwaukee Bucks proved that. He embraced Ujiri and told him that they are not finished yet.

Indeed they are not, because they will be facing the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

The Raptors need Lowry to be the best version of himself.

Now, more than ever.