Toronto Raptors president of basketball operation Masai Ujiri admitted he was unsure what would happen with guard Kyle Lowry when he woke up on Thursday. Lowry, who has been a Raptor since 2012, was expected to be traded at the trade deadline but he stayed in Toronto.
"Honestly, we didn't know which way it was going to go," Ujiri said after dealing Norman Powell for Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood but ultimately not dealing Lowry before Thursday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline passed, per ESPN.
"Because we've really talked about looking at this team in every direction that it could go. "We came to a point where we were comfortable with any direction that it went."
Lowry could still leave the Raptors
Lowry will remain a Raptor for the rest of the season but his future will again be in jeopardy in the offseason.
"We'll talk about it then," Ujiri said. "I think we'll talk about them when the time comes at the end of the season. But I think we all know the respect and the sentiment about Kyle and this ball club, and what he's done not only for the city, the team, the country, the league.
"Honestly, our team can go in many different directions. I keep saying it. We are comfortable with whatever direction we go. Maybe we lost a chance here, but we also think we gained a chance in some other things going forward.
This team, especially with what we've gone through this year, could pivot in many different directions. This is where we find ourselves now." Ujiri also acknowledged that the Raptors aren't interested in tanking for high draft picks.
"Yes, they fight," Ujiri said. "They fight together, you see they like to play together and, yeah, there's been ups and downs, you guys have seen it, there's been challenges but at the end of the day, when you come into our locker room with these guys, and I see Kyle and Fred and OG and Pascal and all of them really come together.
"What they want to build, the experience they've had together of winning, we're lucky, we're blessed that we've been a winning organization and hopefully we can continue that in some way or another and have a good vision for this ballclub to continue that.
"There may be stops along the way and adversity along the way but I think the overall culture we need to keep going and these players are a huge part of it."