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Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry (7) passes around Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving (2) during the first half of Game 2 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals Thursday, May 19, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Kyle Lowry plans to become free agent in 2017

AP Photo/Tony Dejak

Kyle Lowry has developed into one of the premier point guards in the NBA with the Toronto Raptors, and the 30-year-old is ready to secure a big payday next summer. Lowry told The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski he plans to opt out of the $12 million he’s set to earn in 2017-18 in order to get a mammoth contract like the one teammate DeMar DeRozan just signed this past offseason.

Lowry prefers to re-sign with the Raptors, and they’ve been good about paying their players in recent years. In addition to DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross have inked extensions with the club, although those latter two deals weren’t anywhere near max contracts.

Re-upping with Lowry seems like a no-brainer on the surface given what he’s meant to the franchise. He’s made two straight All-Star Games and just had the best season of his career in leading the Raptors to their best season ever. He’s had his struggles in the postseason, including in last year’s first round, but he bounced back nicely in leading Toronto within two games of the NBA Finals. The guard was then a key reserve during Team USA’s gold-medal run in Rio.

Despite all this, there are reasons to be wary of giving Lowry a huge five-year deal. He’ll be 31 next summer, and his body has taken quite a bit of punishment over the last few years. The guy works hard and plays his rear end off, but you worry about a steep decline as he enters his mid-30s.

Nevertheless, given the commitment to DeRozan, it’s hard to see the Raptors breaking up their All-Star duo unless there’s disaster in 2016-17.

Kyle Lowry plans to become free agent in 2017

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