Recently, Kyle Lowry expressed his dissatisfaction with the Raptors trading his longtime teammates and friend DeMar DeRozan. Paul discussed this situation and how it may affect the Raptors moving forward, as well as discussing whether he thinks it was the correct decision to trade DeRozan.
“If I’m the GM, you’ve got to make hard decisions. This comes with the business,” Pierce said. “That’s all part of it. I know this is your friend. That’s part of making tough decisions. Do I want to trade DeMar? No. But if I have the opportunity to get a Kawhi Leonard, you pull the trigger.”
Pierce felt that Toronto was “on the treadmill” before this trade, and he believes the Leonard addition did the Raptors well. The gray area comes into play when the GM might have said that a player won’t be traded, but then is reallocated the next week.
Brian Windhorst, who has been covering Kyle Lowry for years, believes that this trade was better for the team and Lowry.
“Kyle plays better when he’s angry,” Windhorst said. “If he’s angry at his GM and he’s playing like Paul said, the best basketball we’ve seen, I think Masai Ujiri has done his job. He made the trade you need to do, and he’s inspiring Kyle Lowry. Check. Check.”
Pierce closed with the future success of the Raptors beyond this season and Lowry’s off-season decision will likely be determined by the success of the Raptors season.