Raptors 2.0: Clippers interested in Raptors’ VanVleet, Heat’s Lowry
The Los Angeles Clippers are reportedly in the market for a new point guard according to The Ringer‘s Kevin O’Connor, and two of the names they are supposedly interested in were prominent figures on the Toronto Raptors’ 2019 championship squad.
Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet — the past and present stalwarts at the point guard position for Toronto — are two of the players that O’Connor reports the Clippers are interested in, with a possible reunion in store.
According to his piece, the Clippers are looking for an upgrade to their current backcourt, as they have been unable to find starting calibre point guard play between the likes of John Wall and Reggie Jackson.
Neither veteran guard has been especially productive for the Los Angeles outfit this season. Jackson was demoted to a bench role on Jan. 8, then was out of the rotation entirely for two games prior to Wall getting sidelined with an abdominal injury.
Meanwhile, Wall is set to miss at least one more week, though when he does play, he’s only averaging 11.4 points per game this season in his bench role.
In targeting either Lowry or VanVleet, the Clippers would acquire a guard capable of handling a legitimate ball-handling and playmaking role for a team that hasn’t had a true point guard since acquiring their star wing duo of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.
Currently, the Clippers rank seventh in isolation possessions in the NBA. However, they are struggling with efficiency when using isolation, ranking in the bottom 10 teams in EFG% and points-per-possession on those plays. Bringing in an additional piece capable of moving the ball around might unlock another element to what has been a bottom-six ranked team in overall offensive rating this season.
Lowry, despite his age, has played a steady role in Miami this season, averaging 12.8 points and 5.4 assists while continually being a plus-defender on the third-ranked defence in the NBA.
His contract, however, would be the point of contention here in getting a deal done. He’s signed through next season, with a cap hit next year of $29 million at which point the guard will be 37 years old.
To make the deal work, O’Connor is reporting that the Clippers would have to send back a combination of Luke Kennard ($14m), Robert Covington ($12m), Reggie Jackson ($11m), Nicolas Batum ($11m) or John Wall ($6m) to match salaries. Whether the Heat would want any of those pieces, considering they likely see themselves as contenders as well, is certainly questionable, however, getting Lowry off their books for next season might be enough of a prize to make it work.
A package for Lowry could look something like this:
Clippers receive: Kyle Lowry ($28.3)
Heat receive: Reggie Jackson ($11m), Robert Covington ($12m)
VanVleet meanwhile, despite early season struggles, has bounced back in the last four games especially, averaging 31.3 points, 7.0 assists and is shooting 48.7 per cent (!!!) from long range on nearly 10 attempts per game. On the season he’s putting up 19.1 points and 6.3 assists per game while shooting a more reasonable 34.4 per cent from three-point range.
He would also be a better fit for the Clippers’ timeline as a one-year rental, with the guard likely to decline his $22 million player option for next season.
VanVleet made headlines of his own on Tuesday, announcing that he had parted ways with his agent shortly ahead of the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline. A curious move as his future with the Raptors remains in limbo.
In return for VanVleet, the Raptors would likely want a fair share of future first-round draft selections. This, however, is a conundrum for Steve Ballmer’s team, as they off-loaded a good chunk of those future picks when they made the deal to bring in Paul George.
As it currently stands, the Clippers don’t have control of any of their picks from now until 2026, but could still stand to give up their picks (or pick swaps) from 2027-2030 if they want to contend now.
A package for VanVleet could look something like this:
Clippers receive: Fred VanVleet ($21m)
Raptors receive: John Wall ($6m), Nicolas Batum ($11m), 2027 pick swap, 2028 first-round pick
VanVleet would also be a solid fit for the Clippers in terms of play style, allowing the diminutive point guard to return to an off-ball role that saw him excel during the 2019 championship run alongside Kawhi Leonard. His high minutes-per-game numbers have become a point of concern over the last two seasons, however getting him onto a team with more depth like the Clippers would allow him more rest, and hopefully, get him back to his “steady Freddy” moniker.
The Clippers are also reportedly interested in Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley.
As stated prior, bringing either VanVleet or Lowry into the fold would bring up memories of days past for Raptors fans, reuniting the guards with Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and wing Norman Powell.
Though perhaps less likely, the Clippers have also been named as a potential suitor for former Raptors stretch-big, and championship bench piece Serge Ibaka by Hoopswire’s Sam Amico. His current team, the Milwaukee Bucks, agreed to find a trade partner for the veteran big man.
Their search for depth at the five though is likely legitimate. They lost centre Isaiah Hartenstein to the New York Knicks in free agency last season, and behind starting big man Ivica Zubac, they sorely lack depth.
O’Connor adds in his piece that rumours about adding Naz Reid from the Minnesota Timberwolves or Mo Bamba from the Orlando Magic could be in the cards for upgrades there.
The Clippers currently carry the highest payroll in the NBA at a chart-topping $202 million with most of that coming in the form of their superstar wing duo Leonard and George. Whether team owner Steve Ballmer wants to keep paying that massive tab is still unknown, however, what is more clear, is that since acquiring those two, the goal has been to win.
Could reuniting a semblance of the 2019 Toronto Raptors championship squad be the way to go about it? The NBA is a copycat league after all.
By: Kai Gammage
Title: Report: Clippers interested in Raptors’ VanVleet, Heat’s Lowry
Sourced From: www.sportsnet.ca/nba/article/report-clippers-interested-in-raptors-vanvleet-heats-lowry/
Published Date: 01-25-2023
Frequently Asked Questions
What was your favorite year with the Raptors?
Toronto Raptors' best year was the 2019 championship season. It was a thrilling, memorable season for Toronto Raptors. The Raptors won their first NBA Championship in franchise history. Kawhi Leonard was named Finals' MVP and the team had a regular season record of 58-24. They beat the Golden State Warriors six times to win the title.
The Toronto Raptors made a change in 2013 when they replaced Bryan Colangelo (then general manager) with Masai Ujiri. This move would herald a new age for the franchise. They would be one of the best in the NBA.
The Raptors saw a resurgence under Ujiri. In 2014, they reached the playoffs for first time since 2008. They've won five Division titles since then and had their best regular season in 2018. Ujiri was also able to make a risky yet successful trade that sent DeMar DeRozan from the San Antonio Spurs to get Kawhi Leonard.
The Raptors had an incredible 2019, winning their first conference championship, and reaching the NBA finals. In six games, they defeated the Golden State Warriors.
Ujiri’s tenure with Raptors has been a tremendous success. It is worth recognizing him as the one who changed the team’s fortunes. His leadership has made the Raptors one of the most successful teams in the NBA, and they look set to continue to be contenders for many years.
The 2019 Raptors championship season will always be remembered as one among the best in their history.
Ujiri, and all of the Toronto Raptors should continue to work towards creating a winning culture for their players and staff. This team is looking brighter with their continued dedication to excellence. The 2019 Toronto Raptors Championship season has set a high bar, and Ujiri and his teammates must build on this success.
How long has the Raptors been in existence?
Toronto Raptors, an NBA team located in Toronto (Ontario), is home to the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors were an expansion team to the NBA in 1995 along with the Vancouver Grizzlies. In 2001-02 the Raptors became Canada's only NBA-based team, after the Grizzlies moved to Memphis.
Toronto Raptors players Scotiabank Arena for their home games. The city's NHL team also uses the arena, the Maple Leafs. Since their foundation, the Raptors were in the NBA playoffs 13 more times. The most recent was in 2021 where they lost 6 to the Philadelphia 76ers.
1999-2000 saw the Raptors make their first playoff appearance. Unfortunately, they were swept by division rivals New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs.
There weren't many fans, and the team wasn’t exciting. There was not much to be excited about and nothing to cheer for. After years of being mediocre, the team made a decision to improve its image and make it more appealing to the general public.
In 2001, the team hired a professional advertising agency to help develop a marketing strategy that would make them famous in national markets. The team came up with a slogan called "Hear us Roar!"
The team was experiencing financial difficulties at the time so the slogan was used to highlight the fact that all of their games had sold out. The only thing they needed was a catchy phrase, and a great logo. This is where creative genius shines through. They combined the popular phrase "hear our roar" with "never say die". This became the Toronto Raptors' official motto.
What does "We The North” actually mean?
The Toronto Raptors have used the phrase "We The North", also known by We The North Nation as an anthem. It was written by Drake and Noah Shebib, a producer.
Drake composed the song while he was staying in Toronto with a friend. Drake finished his album Take care with Kanye West. Drake decided to make lyrics about his hometown while there. He wanted it to be something that could represent all Canadians. The song is about unity. Pride. Hope.
Drake began working on the melody to We The North in London, when he was filming the video for "Nice For What". The instrumental version of the song was recorded in one take.
While Drake was writing the lyrics for the track, 40 came up with the chorus. Drake liked the hook so much that he asked 40 to record it. They worked together to create the final product.
The official music video for "We The North Anthem," was released on October 5, 2018. The video featured Shawn Mendes, a Canadian singer-songwriter, performing with Drake and other musicians.
How was the first year of existence for the Toronto Raptors?
The Toronto Raptors' first season in the NBA was a difficult one. Isiah Thomas became GM and hired Brendan Malone as head coach of the new Raptors franchise in 1995, and the team soon acquired several talented players in the draft and through trades. They won the Chicago Bulls' game once that season, but their overall record was 21-61.
In 1996, Toronto drafted Marcus Camby, who became Rookie of the Year and formed part of the starting line-up with Alvin Williams at point guard. Later in 1997, Damon Stoudamire was traded away, and more changes to the roster were made over the following years as Toronto looked to build a foundation for future successes.
Despite all its changes, the team continues to struggle in its first few NBA seasons. Toronto finally reached the playoffs in 2000, after much rebuilding and transition. But it was defeated by the New York Knicks.
Why are Toronto Raptors called Raptors
The NBA's expansion into Canada in 1995 saw the founding of Toronto Raptors. The film Jurassic Park inspired the name and logo. The team colors include bright red and purple as well as black and silver.
In the first season of Raptors basketball, the team struggled to find their footing in the league and finished with a 21-61 record. The team continued to improve each year and made it to the playoffs in 1999.
The Raptors' most memorable moment was in 2019, when they won the NBA championship title. Toronto was led by Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry in the backcourt, winning their first NBA championship.
Since then, the Raptors are a favourite sports team in Canada. Toronto continues to provide excitement to basketball fans worldwide, whether they are international superstars or homegrown talent.
The Toronto Raptors are proud to be a part of Canada's basketball history. Their success on the court inspires young players across the country. The Raptors will continue being a favourite team because of their passionate fans and unique style.
Was Vancouver home to an NBA team?
No, Vancouver does not have an NBA team. The city had the Vancouver Grizzlies from 1995-2001, but the team relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, in 2001. Now, basketball enthusiasts in Vancouver support the Toronto Raptors as they are the closest NBA team to the area. In addition, other professional basketball teams play in and around the Greater Vancouver Area, such as the BC Tigers of the Canadian Elite Basketball League and the Vancouver Volcanoes of the International Basketball League. Several amateur and semi-professional teams also play in various local leagues.
Vancouver is home to many other sports fans. The Vancouver Grizzlies Alumni Association, for example, is a group that aims to bring back former players and increase awareness about basketball in British Columbia. The association hosts events such as viewing parties for Raptors games and clinics to help young players develop their game.
The city's love of basketball has not decreased since the departures of the Grizzlies. And it continues to be a supportive community in numerous ways. Vancouverites still love basketball, and they continue to support former players and other organizations who work to promote the sport within the city.
Who owns Toronto Raptors'?
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment owns the team. MLSE also has the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs as well as the MLS's Toronto FC and CFL's Toronto Argonauts. They also own the AHL's Toronto Marlies and Toronto Rock lacrosse team.
- This improved during the 2006–07 regular season to an average of 18,258 fans (13th in the league), 92.2 percent capacity at the Air Canada Centre. (en.wikipedia.org)
- Thomas named Raptors' GM NBA superstar to have 10% stake in the new franchise". (en.wikipedia.org)
- In November of the 1996–97 season, Bitove sold his ownership interest in the team to Slaight for $65 million after Slaight had activated a shotgun clause in their partnership agreement, giving Slaight 79 percent control of the team,  (en.wikipedia.org)
- After Thomas attempted to execute a letter of intent with Slaight to purchase the team failed, he resigned from his position in November and sold his 9 percent stake in the team to Slaight. (en.wikipedia.org)
- Thomas named Raptors' GM NBA superstar to have 10% stake in the new franchise". (en.wikipedia.org)
Can I bring my photo camera to a Raptors match?
Follow the rules and plan. You will be fine. It's fine to bring a camera along to an NBA game. You don't have to do anything illegal. However, it is important to be aware and cautious about the risks.
Before you start taking pictures of the game, consider whether it is allowed. The courtside is the best place to get great shots.
If you are serious about sports photography and want to get more photos to add to your portfolio, you should check these tips for better basketball shots.
You should also consider the type of camera that you are going to use. You will need a professional-grade digital camera if your goal is to capture action shots or memorable moments with friends.
You should also decide how much time and effort you're willing to put into setting up your shot. If you are going to shoot hoops together with your kids, you might want to invest in a tripod or remote release rather than carrying heavy equipment.
You must also decide where you will store your gear. It's not possible to expect someone to give you a memory card after you leave the arena. You'll need to bring extra batteries and cables or have somewhere to store your things while you watch the game.
In short, if you want to take quality photographs at a sporting event, you must plan ahead. It will allow you to capture amazing images that you can share with others.