8. Kyle Lowry:
2013-14 Stat Line: 79 games, 36.2 MPG, 17.9 PPG, 7.4 APG, 4.7 RPG, 1.5 SPG, .423/.380/.813 shooting, 20.1 PER
The biggest omission from the 2014 NBA All-Star Game (from the Eastern Conference), Kyle Lowry’s value was mostly known only by diehard Toronto Raptors fans and those who didn’t get caught up on DeMar DeRozan’s impressive stat line of 22.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. But make no mistake – Lowry was the leader of the third-seeded Raptors last year and there’s a reason re-signing him was general manager Masai Ujiri’s biggest offseason priority.
Lowry choosing to stay in Toronto was a major victory for the Raptors and Canadian basketball in general. Unlike Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter and Chris Bosh before him, Lowry chose to remain with the Raps instead of fleeing for greener pastures. That alone makes him an endearing leader to Toronto basketball fans, but Lowry’s impersonation of a bulldog every time he steps on the court earns him his spot on this list.
Lowry is a very good three-point shooter, he hounds his defensive assignment up and down the court, he has no problem bulldozing his way into the paint and he has a very well-rounded game overall. Toronto has a very young core and the East improved as a whole this offseason, but Lowry and the Raptors are both on the rise.