To watch Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry play with newly acquired wingman Kawhi Leonard is to witness basketball poetry. The Raptors are off to the best start in the NBA, and the sky seems like the limit for this new dynamic duo. The only problem? The old dynamic duo. Leonard arrived at a steep price for Lowry personally — and that price was the departure of Lowry’s “best friend in the world” DeMar DeRozan. Separating business from the personal is a tall order, and Lowry, despite the success he’s had this season, still struggles with how quickly his Raptor world was altered when the DeRozan-Leonard deal went down. (Note: there were other pieces of the trade, like the Raptors getting Danny Green, but the centerpieces were indisputably Leonard and DeRozan.)
Sounding like Michael Jordan in his heyday talking about Bulls GM Jerry Krause, Lowry doesn’t evince a lot of love for Raptors GM Masai Ujiri — the guy who sent DeRozan to San Antonio. But of course it’s not Ujiri’s job to be loved — his job is to win, and he looks to be in line for a bonus this year. For years Krause weathered the same kind of cold shoulder criticism from Jordan and company, never getting any love — but he sure got some trophies. Jordan’s (and Krause’s) Bulls won six titles. Krause was a two-time NBA Executive of the Year.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 5, 2018