Lowry's contract is a three-year deal worth $100 million, which serves as a healthy pay raise for the All-Star point guard. He would end up re-signing with the Toronto Raptors on a three-year deal and made the All-Star team in each of those seasons.

Losing Lowry represented the worst-case scenario for the Raptors, as the point guard has established himself alongside shooting guard DeMar DeRozan as one of the most lethal backcourt combos in the league. President Masai Ujiri has been a wizard navigating bringing back his top talent, ensuring they get paid, but not on crippling terms.

"I don't think we've reached our true potential", Lowry wrote.

If Lowry is coming back, Toronto has at least kept together a talented core it can compete with, no matter what the limited ceiling is against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in next year's playoffs (at least most of the Eastern Conference has dropped off a cliff).

Ibaka came to the Raptors last season from the Orlando Magic.

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Serge Ibaka has been in the National Basketball Association for eight seasons, long enough to face the unforgiving glare of expectations and nitpicking analysis.

"I have an opportunity to play for a great team, a great organization and great city so I'm very excited", Ibaka had said before his first appearance as a Raptor.

The Congo native averaged 14.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game last season.

Assuming Kyle Lowry will return to Toronto-an increasingly likely scenario-the Raptors will remain exactly who they have been in recent years.

Over his five seasons and 354 games for the Raptors, Lowry has averaged 18.7 points, 7.0 assists, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game.