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Kyle Lowry - PG, 6'0, 205
Toronto Raptors - Acquired via trade in July 2012
       Date of birth: 03/25/1986
       Country: USA
     Drafted (NBA): 24th pick, 2006
     Out of: Villanova
  NBA Experience: 10 years
  Hand: Right

From blog:


   DeMar DeRozan thrives in the arcane, but can he make his team better from there?
2017-03-22

When do you stop putting your best player in the positions on the court that suit them best?

If DeMar Derozan is not the Toronto Raptors's best player - if such a classification matters - he is the second best behind only Kyle Lowry. And for as long as Lowry has been out (he has missed the last 14 games with a wrist injury), Derozan has been the clear-cut best player.

Even if not their best all-around player, Derozan is certainly the Raptors's leading scorer. His 27.0 points per game total ranks not only first on the team (Lowry is second at 22.8), but also fifth in the entire league, behind only Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Isaiah Thomas and Anthony Davis.

However, DeRozan scores his points in a very unique way that makes fitting his individual talents into an optimal offensive system quite the challenge.

For all of those points scored, DeRozan takes up a lot of the ball to do it. All scorers take up a lot of the ball to do so, of course - DeRozan's usage rate is fifth highest in the league, but then so is his scoring average, and one behoves the other. But DeRozan's share of the ball comes in a more complex manner than those of his peers.

For comparison's sake, look at those peers in leading scorer list, and their playing styles. Thomas, Harden and Westbrook are the primary ball handlers on their team, doing more of the ball handling and half court creating than the rest of their teams do combined. Davis, meanwhile, is the ultimate finisher. A creator too, of course, but be it at the basket, from mid-range, in the pick-and-roll or occasionally from further out, he finds spots, is always a threat to shoot, and can make anything.

DeRozan, however, has to pair with Lowry. This is far from a reluctant or troubled pairing - it is a beautiful one that has propelled the Raptors to a level never before seen in their franchise's history. Better than any Vince Carter season, and certainly better than anything before or after his era. It has however a nuanced one that is hard to replicate with any backup.

For the most part, the duo works. Lowry collapses the defense and does all of the outside shooting that DeRozan does not, while DeRozan emulates Kobe Bryant better than anyone and exposes the defensive weaknesses in between. The duo score about 50 points on any given night, and even when it is known what is coming - Lowry attacking half a seam off the dribble, or just raising up even when contested; DeRozan spinning and jerking from the mid-range and post areas - the shots go in anyway. The duo are seriously good.

But it is Lowry doing the Hardenian bits. It is he handling the ball more and taking the first wave of pressure. When Lowry is out, as he has been, a far greater defensive pressure thus falls upon DeRozan. He responded well initially, scoring 33.8 points per game in the first five games of Lowry's absence. But then against the Milwaukee Bucks, DeRozan shot only 5-13 with one foul shot on his way to 11 points. This is directly to the Bucks' credit. [...]

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   With Rudy Gay trade, Kings acquire something they already had
2013-12-11

The Toronto Raptors and Bryan Colangelo brought in Rudy Gay in February as a last-ditch effort to save several years of maneuvering that hadn't been going so well. Gay was available for cheap and was supposed to be a significant upgrade over any of the players sent out to acquire him.

In theory, Gay would supersede DeMar DeRozan as the primary wing scorer, providing the isolation scoring from the wing that the team needed. He would be the infusion of pure talent that they lacked. And even though he didn't fit on paper alongside Derozan and Andrea Bargnani, the defense and rebounding of Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas, Amir Johnson and Landry Fields would offset it, as would the shooting of Terrence Ross. The sheer infusion of talent he represented would make it worthwhile.

In reality, it didn't work. Bargnani regressed to the point he became toxic, Lowry struggled, the team failed to find cohesiveness and defense. Meanwhile, DeRozan and Gay did not mesh at all. DeRozan in fact looks noticeably improved thus far this season and has ultimately ended up being the one who surpassed Gay. Arguably always surplus to requirements, Gay subsequently became extremely surplus to requirements, and at an enormous price tag. Even in spite of how recently he had arrived, it was clear that he had to go. But it looked impossible.

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Toronto Raptors


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Note: Non-US teams that the player has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League split in Japan.


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