"Free-agent guard Kyle Lowry has reached agreement on a four-year, $48 million contract extension with the Toronto Raptors, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
"The fourth year of the contract is at Lowry's option.
"'Toronto is just the right place for me,' Lowry told Yahoo Sports.
"Securing Lowry, a cornerstone of the Raptors revival, has been general manager Masai Uriji's No. 1 priority in the offseason, and stands as a coup for a franchise that had struggled in years past to get frontline NBA players to commit long-term.
"Lowry stands to become an even more popular and marketable figure in Toronto with his decision to return to the team.
"Lowry, 28, had been a free agent target of several teams, including Miami and Houston. In his second full season in Toronto, Lowry had a borderline All-Star season, averaging 17.9 points, 7.4 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game. He led Toronto to the playoffs for the first time in five years, losing in a seven-game series to Brooklyn."
The Toronto Sun's Ryan Wolstat also reported on Lowry's return to Toronto:
"Tim Leiweke was adamant Kyle Lowry would be back.
"Masai Uriji was confident, too, and they were not wrong.
"The Raptors reached a verbal agreement with the star point guard late Wednesday evening, sources confirmed to the Sun. Yahoo! Sports first reported the deal would be a four-year, $48 million package, with Lowry having the option to opt out before the final year.
"Lowry put a pitcure of himself on Instagram wearing a throwback purple, No. 15 Raptors jersey, with the caption: 'This ain't Amir jersey y'all! Lol...it's for the 2014-15 season cause Toronto will be my home city.'
"The agreement was the biggest piece of Raptors business in years and a crucial moment for a franchise that has seen stars like Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady and Chris Bosh eventually engineer exits.
Wolstat also points out Leiweke, president and CEO of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, had been adamant all along that his starting point guard would return to the Raptors:
"Leiweke, the president and chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, had been emphatic back in April that Lowry would not depart.
"Speaking on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, Leiweke said yes when asked if he will sign Lowry.
"Leiweke pointed to the bond between Lowry and Uriji that had seen Toronto's GM get the best out of a player that had tremendous natural talent, but had not always channeled his emotions the proper way. This year, everything clicked, and Lowry was a force from the start, especially picking up his game once he got more responsibility, with the ball in his hands far more often once friend Rudy Gay was dealt to the Sacramento Kings in a multi-player deal.
"'This has been one of the best seasons I've had through and through. Best coaches, teammates, upstairs. It's been great. I am happy. Without a doubt I can say I'm happy,' Lowry said when the season had come to a close.
"The Raptors had been extremely confident after meeting with Lowry and representative Andy Miller earlier this week. However, one member of the organization said that as confident as the franchise was at retaining Lowry, until he actualy signed on the dotted line, no one could rest easy.
"They can get some sleep now, even if nothing can become official until midnight on July 10, when the NBA's needlessly long moratorium period finishes."