Toronto Raptors icon Kyle Lowry is now an unrestricted free agent, and his future is the biggest question among many others for the franchise this summer.
Lowry spoke at length to reporters on Tuesday during his season-ending press conference. The Raptors missed the playoffs for the first time in eight years, and the 35-year-old guard was transparent about what he's looking for as one of the top free agents this offseason.
"My family will be a major factor in this. And also, money talks, years talk, let's be real. I play this game for the love of the game, but at the end of the day I want to make sure my family is still taken care of for generations, even though they are now. I want to continue to be able to do that for my family when I pass away, and I want to give back to the communities that I support, and give back to the things that I love," Lowry said.
This is the third time the Raptors have faced a free agent decision with Lowry. In 2014, Lowry quickly re-signed with the franchise despite coming perilously close to being traded that winter. Then in 2017, Lowry explored his options in free agency before ultimately returning on a three-year deal that was then extended one additional season, taking him to this third round of negotiations. For Lowry, the biggest difference in what he's looking for now as compared to previously is stability for his soon-to-be teenage children.
"My kids being older, they’re at a point where stability is going to be key. They had some good stability in Toronto so far," Lowry said.
The Raptors once again came close to moving Lowry at in March, but a deal could not be struck to send Lowry to a contender. Lowry's stated goal is to win more championships, and that has never wavered. But what is unclear is if Lowry views the Raptors as a contender after an unfortunate season that saw them finish 12th, or if he would wants to go elsewhere for better odds. The Raptors could potentially sign-and-trade Lowry if he did want to move on.
Another factor for Lowry is the future of Raptors president Masai Ujiri, who is also a free agent. Reports are that Ujiri will most likely return, however his contractual status has lingered as a question mark dating back to the summer of 2019, when Ujiri should have been awarded with an extension after winning the title. Lowry and Ujiri have had rocky moments, but the six-time All-Star has come to respect Ujiri as a top executive and Ujiri's future could impact Lowry's own decision.
"Our relationship has grown from the time I’ve been here, to the time now. Our relationship has gotten better, put it that way. At the end of the day, and I told him, part of the reason I’m still here is because of him. Part of the reason I re-signed here twice is because of him, that’s a large part of why I’m able to be who I am and gotten to this point. So his decision, yes it will definitely factor into anything," Lowry said of Ujiri's contract negotiations.
There is little doubt that Lowry would be a significant contributor no matter where he lands. Even though he is one of the oldest players in the league, Lowry has shown no signs of physical decline, and was one of the Raptors' best players this season with averages of 17.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 7.2 assists on 40 percent shooting from three.
"Toronto is always going to be home for me, it’s a situation I would love to be in, and if it works out, it works out. If not, then we make choices on what’s best for myself," Lowry said.
More from Yahoo Sports