Cleveland Cavaliers sign Houston Rockets free agent guard Kyle Lowry; Lowry worth every penny of offer

“The offer is for three years with a fourth-year team option that could make the contract worth up to $24 million.”  The Houston Rockets have seven days to match.

Update: Rockets match offer.

I’m floored.  While Lowry is certainly deserving of such a sum, I did not think his true value would be identified.  Ah, the ultimate efficiency of markets…

In my opinion, at a little under $6million (due to the 4th year option), it’s a no-brainer to match and I do expect the Rockets to do just that.  Long-time readers are aware of how high this publication has been on Lowry – I called him the team’s most impactful player last season.

Lowry was second on the team in Roland Rating at +2.5, and was a component of the team’s most efficient 5-man offensive unit.

While his impact on the Rockets is patently obvious, not enough has been made of just how favorably his production compares with his league-wide peers.

Lowry is 5th in the league among all point guards in FTA’s per-40 minutes.

He’s 2nd among all point guards in total rebounding rate per-40 minutes and 1st among all point guards in offensive rebounding rate per-40 minutes.

Lowry is 1st among all pg’s in charges drawn per-40 minutes.

He’s 1st among all pg’s in And1% (the percentage of a player’s field goal attempts resulting in an And-1) per-40 minutes and 1st among all pg’s in FTA/FGA (ratio of free throw attempts to field goal attempts) per-40 minutes.

Lowry is 11th in the league among all point guards in overall assists per-40 minutes and 12th in assists at the rim per-40 minutes.

He is 16th among all point guards in assist/turnover ratio per-40 minutes ahead of such notable figures as Jammer Nelson, Russell Westbrook, Brandon Jennings, Chauncey Billups, Derrick Rose, Devin Harris, Rodney Stuckey, Darren Collison, Tyreke Evans, and Stephen Curry.  Aaron Brooks is nowhere to be found among the leaders.

Finally, Kyle Lowry is 16th among all point guards in APER per-40 minutes. (APER is PER adjusted for assisted and unassisted field goals.)

Frankly speaking, Kyle Lowry produces at starter-level rates and is even elite in some areas.

What will come of interest is how this event impacts the decision on Aaron Brooks.  Likely to command an even heftier offer than Lowry’s next summer, the club could look to “sell high” on his usage-inflated production during the season.  That Lowry stands as such a capable replacement might make the decision easier.  I don’t see the club investing upwards of $13million annually into its point guard slot, especially if Brooks’ value can be parlayed elsewhere for an upgrade.

About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of

in musings
  • luislandry

    Agreed, I seriously hope they don't let him go. I may have posted this before, but I feel like Lowry can work very well with the starting unit b/c he could keep driving point guards away from Yao, draw fouls on their starters, while Brooks can be counted on as one of the most offensively gifted sparks off the bench, matching up with players who aren't good enough to exploit his weaknesses. The only thing I'm unsure about is if Lowry can improve his spot-up 3-pt shooting to complement Yao's post game.

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  • luislandry

    Agreed, I seriously hope they don't let him go. I may have posted this before, but I feel like Lowry can work very well with the starting unit b/c he could keep driving point guards away from Yao, draw fouls on their starters, while Brooks can be counted on as one of the most offensively gifted sparks off the bench, matching up with players who aren't good enough to exploit his weaknesses. The only thing I'm unsure about is if Lowry can improve his spot-up 3-pt shooting to complement Yao's post game.

  • rahat_huq

    BTW – you all will notice that I brought back the Disqus comment interface. Most of the comment threads the past week or so have broken off into different discussions, so I thought the nested view might facilitate things better in allowing more avenue for direct response.

    Do notice that you can also use your facebook or twitter account to leave comments.

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  • Alituro

    Finally some Rockets news… It would be devastating to lose him. I don't see us not matching the offer. I'm with you the best course is to sign him for the 4 years matching whatever, showcase Brooks as much as possible all season and sell high. Lowry wanted nothing more than to be a starter on a squad ever since his days in Memphis, and is well qualified to do so. I just hope its the Rockets he's starting for, and sooner rather than later.

  • Absolutely. Lowry deserves every word in this post… except maybe the use of “impact” as a verb. Who started this trend? Does he have the power to make it stop?

  • rahat_huq

    while not orthodox, can't think of a better word in that spot. Can our resident linguists please chime in?

  • Jimes

    Aren't those stats slightly misleading since he played against the opposing teams' bench players during a lot of his time on the court? Then, since he is someone who many are counting on to be able to start at some point, the question becomes whether even with a drop in his performance against starters, he is worth this price. Not a no-brainer, but probably so IMHO.

  • Mike B

    I'd be shocked if we don't match. 3 years guaranteed at $5-6 million per year is overpaying, but not by much based on this year's FA market. The fourth year option should be an easy decision … by then we should either be contenders or have the framework to be contenders, or we'll be rebuilding. We'll also know whether Lowry deserves a $6+ million contract at that point.

  • Jordan

    “1st among all point guards in offensive rebounding rate per-40 minutes”

    That is impressive! I love Lowry but I do not think the Rockets will match the offer. we can not pay our back up PG 6 million a year. Maybe we can pull a sign and trade w Shaq? Either way I can't wait to see what DM does.

  • From “Garner's Modern American Usage” (which I highly recommend to any and all writers):

    “Impact has traditionally been only a noun. In recent years, however, it has undergone a semantic shift that has allowed it to act as verb. So uses such as the following have become widespread (also widely condemned by stylists):

    'Selig told Bush his ties to the Rangers could create an appearance of conflict of interest if he had to make decision that impacted [read affected] the franchise.'

    These uses of the word would be perfectly acceptable if impact were performing any function not as ably performed by affect or influence. If affect as a verb is not sufficiently straightforward in context, then the careful writer might use 'have an impact on' which, though longer, is probably better than the jarring impact of 'impacted.' Reserve impact for noun use and impacted for wisdom teeth.

    Interestingly, impact as a verb might have arisen partly in response to widespread diffidence about the spelling of affect.”

  • The correct word usage would be, “affect” as in, “What will come of interest is how this event affects the decision on Aaron Brooks.” Better yet, “What will be of interest is how this event affects the decision on Aaron Brooks.”

  • tkired

    I am a little bit surprised it is the Cavs making this move…. a good one, imo. Rockets have to match don't they?

  • The Shaq sign and trade is intriguing. Thoughts on this Rahat?

  • bob schmidt

    When you consider how much money is paid for chronic non-performers on a roster (think Brian Cook, Tracy McGrady, and others) during a season, this is not an unreasonable contract offer to match.

    Whether Kyle plays against starters or rotation people, he produces big time. We can all remember how poorly we played near the end of the season when he was injured. You cannot overstate his importance, and even his and AB's salaries combined are less than one elite point guard. I would easily consider the pair of them equal in value to one elite player on the roster.

  • Stephen

    WTF are Cavs doing? Smells of PR/make nice agent type of move.
    Cavs have Mo Pete($9.3mil,3 yrs),Gibson($4mil,3 yrs) and Telfair($.2.7mil,1 yr) under contract at the PG position.
    They are likely desperately hoping Hou matches.

  • Jordan

    I also feel that Lowry is worth the money, but as an organiztion we should not tie ourselves down financially with the back up PG unless we have plans to trade Brooks or upgrade in a different position.

    what are your thoughts on the Blazers offering Wes Mathews that huge contract? And last year they offered Paul Milsap a monster deal as well, you almost get the feeling that Blazers management is trying to get the Jazz to lock up players that are not worth that much money. Any way that the Cavs are trying to pull a fast one on the Rockets? (I personally do not think so but I would not put it past them)

  • Randy

    Last year playoffs against LA, All I heard the Chinese commentators is: look to give Lowry more time, he organizes the offense with perfection. With Brooks is on the floor, even if they score, the rockets haven't any idea how they did it…

    Now I can kind of see now… Brooks won the MIP award by having a deadeye 3 point shot and having the ball in his hands all of the time…

    I guess lowry's it then.

  • Thomas

    I'm pretty sure we're going to match.

    If we don't:
    1) we don't have a PG in the short-term to fill Lowry's shoes.
    2) there's not another comparable PG on the market that would effect the same production for the same price or less except a rookie-scale contract

    Given 1 and 2, and management's stated willingness to match any [reasonable] offers, there's no reason not to bring Lowry back. We just want to sit on the Cav's money for the full week for fun.

    Signing Lowry has no impact on our cap situation anyway. Even if deals will push us into the tax, so long as Alexander is still willing, there's no functional difference between a capped team and a luxury-taxed team. We can still execute the same trades, and still sign the same players using the same exceptions.

    Scola is in the more precarious position if his offer (Nets?) is too high, simply because we have so many guys that can play the 4. We might have too little to discuss with a quiet off-season, but come on. We're not *that* desperate for news… are we?*

    Thread hijack:

    Over/under on Yao's average minutes before the trade deadline? Doesn't matter what you qualify it with, or what trades/signings you are assuming, just one final figure. How many minutes will Yao Ming be allowed to play?

    I'm guessing 28.

    * Not pointed at Rahat — just all Rockets fans, not exempting me

  • TexAg713

    Since Lowry already signed the offer sheet, the Rockets can only choose to match the Cavs offer or let him go. Afterwards, Lowry can not be traded whatsoever for a one year period, effectively ruling out any S&T scenarios.

  • Jcogz43

    Theres one problem with getting rid of Brooks and keeping Lowry… Lowry ALWAYS pushes the pace which would not work with Yao

  • Daw204

    Mo Pete is terrible. Although Mo Williams is a basically the same as AB. I wouldn't pay AB more than $10M/year but I can swallow $8M or $9M per year. Really is there any difference between Mo Williams and AB?

  • What was the breakdown on our win/loss while Lowry was out hurt last season? If i remember right, it was like in january/february of the season and we were still kind of thinking that we might sneak into the playoffs, then Lowry got hurt and we fell off and pretty much out of the WC Race. WE NEED LOWRY! Im a huge Brooks fan, BUT I dont think I would be against selling high on him with a mid-season trade and elevate Lowry to the started. The trade would have to net some kind of other PG along with another piece though. BTW, I like both comment types, but I think I like the Disqus better.

  • rahat_huq

    Why do you like the Disqus better? I like it better too but just want to get everyone's opinion on the switch.

  • mike

    brooks is getting better and williams getting worse. brooks can split a defense better than williams ever could.

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  • Anon

    Hmm, I wonder why Cleveland would make such an offer, when they already have some decent PGs. A couple of ideas: 1) they were going to trade/let go of one of their other PGs if they got Lowry; 2) they didn't really *want* Lowry, they just wanted the Rockets to match in order to pay him more than they otherwise might be inclined to pay (though I'm not sure why Cleveland would do this anyway).

  • RL

    Like this format better. Previous format not conducive to creating threads of conversations

  • i guess i prefer the twitter connection and the reply structure.

  • Patrick Lee

    i'd say trade brooks, battier (or ariza), anderson, plus picks and/or cash for granger. they're looking for a starting pg, and battier/ariza can replace granger in the sf spot, and anderson is expiring. i'd even give them 2 #1 picks (one of ours and one of ny's) if needed. he's only 27 and has good size and his contract is quite reasonable imo.

    then you'd have a starting lineup of lowry, martin, granger, scola, and yao. all of them draw fouls at a decent rate. scola would be the worst of that group at doing so, but if you look at the list of pf's better than him at it, there really aren't any clear upgrades that are available:

    zach randolph? lamarcus aldridge? david west?

  • Rockets now is the unity of a young team, young and there is passion, energetic, and full of energy. But the young do, they will inevitably encounter setbacks after the trouble with some of the same level of force, may win with a passion for dynamic, but with some seasoned traditionally strong teams, it is easy setback after setback adjustment on young team is difficult
    Unite it, and now the rocket without a prominent figure around 20 million salary for a group of people, only by uniting can we get more, but it can also have problems when the key is to need someone to stand up when the rocket is the lack of such a person, though Tracy McGrady was about to come out, I also would like to see Tracy McGrady to brave comeback, but, no one can guarantee this.
    So, in my opinion, based on the status of rockets, rocket-loving people should be fully understood, the young rocket hit unity, play exciting enough, the results would not be so deliberately requirements, and enjoy the process of it … …

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