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San Antonio Spurs: Kyle Lowry was interested in signing in free agency

By Rob Wolkenbrod
TORONTO, CANADA - OCTOBER 21: Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors looks on during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 21, 2017 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - OCTOBER 21: Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors looks on during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 21, 2017 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Kyle Lowry said his reported interest in joining the San Antonio Spurs in free agency was real.

The San Antonio Spurs were linked to a handful of point guards in the summer of 2018, as Tony Parker’s status from a quad injury was unknown. Chris Paul, Derrick Rose and George Hill were just some of the names tied to the team. The organization chose to stand pat at the one spot in free agency, re-signing Patty Mills and selecting Derrick White in the 2017 NBA Draft. 2016 pick Dejounte Murray stepped into the starting role to begin the season.

Kyle Lowry was mentioned as a potential free-agent candidate, too. He stayed with the Toronto Raptors for three years, $100 million, to remain a centerpiece of the franchise.

However, Lowry had interest in other destinations. One of them was the Spurs, as he told the San Antonio Express-News. He said the interest “was real for me,” but not for San Antonio.

“It was real for me,” Lowry told the Express-News, “but it wasn’t real for them. That’s a part of the business that people don’t know. I would have loved to come here, but it didn’t work out. The conversation didn’t happen. If the conversation happened, I would tell you. But it didn’t happen.

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The reason for the Spurs’ lack of interest in Lowry wasn’t revealed. With the $33.3 average annual salary, he received from the Raptors, it’s possible that did the trick. Cap space was used to re-sign Mills and Pau Gasol, while signing Rudy Gay, Joffrey Lauvergne and Brandon Paul, none of which received an average annual salary over $20 million.

Without Lowry or another free-agent signing at point guard, it allowed Murray to step into the starting role in the preseason and regular season. So far, he has averages of 12 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4 assists in two official games. As long as Parker sits out, the job will belong to the 21-year-old, while Mills comes off the bench.

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We’ll never know how a Spurs-Lowry relationship would have worked, nor the potential salary. If there was mutual interest, how different would the roster look on Opening Night?

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