Raptors’ Lowry stays mum on DeRozan, Leonard

Kyle Lowry talks with coach Gregg Popovich at USA Basketball minicamp Friday in Las Vegas.

Kyle Lowry was not surprised to be asked about DeMar DeRozan.

However, he chose to not respond to those questions with answers.

Speaking at the USA Basketball camp in Las Vegas, Lowry, whose friend and backcourt mate in Toronto, DeRozan, was traded to the San Antonio Spurs in a deal that landed Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, had an answer ready… and didn’t alter from his script.

“It’s been a great week for USA Basketball for me,” he told The Associated Press. “Being out here with these guys and hanging out and getting to talk and hang out with these guys and hanging out with DeMar and all those guys, it’s been fun.

“Summer has been great in general for everyone. Just to have the opportunity to relax and work on your game and prepare for the upcoming season.”

Asked specifically about the trade, Lowry stayed the course.

“I’m here for USA Basketball,” Lowry repeated. “It’s been a great week for USA Basketball.”

Reporters continued to press Lowry, asking specifically about Leonard.

Here’s the exchange:

Do you have a relationship with Kawhi?

Lowry: “No.”

Have you spoken to him?

KL: “Um, probably, yeah. I think so. I don’t know.”

You don’t know if you’ve spoken to Kawhi?

KL: “No.”

What do you mean?

KL: “I don’t know if I’ve spoken to him.”

OK, then.

Lowry, at 32, is the oldest player taking part in the minicamp.

“Just build chemistry and be a leader, be a voice,” Lowry said. “We all know each other, we all have massive respect for each other so just coming to hang out and kick it is fun.”

Playing for Team USA is important to Lowry, who averaged 16.2 points (his lowest mark in five seasons) and 6.9 assists last season after averaging a career-high 22.4 points the season before.

“I got a gold medal in Rio (in 2016) and our country, we go through some dire times and we represent something bigger than our President,” he said. “We represent camaraderie and the togetherness of our country and that’s why it’s big for us to be here.”

While Lowry would not talk about his close friend being traded, DeRozan is confident Lowry will be fine without him in Toronto.

“His knowledge of the game, just his IQ of the game, it stands out, bar none,” DeRozan said. “Just talking about basketball, understanding basketball, reading basketball. It’s great to see that.”

DeRozan said he and Lowry are both aware business is business in the NBA.

“Kyle is Kyle, at the end of the day this is our profession,” DeRozan said. “We understand what comes with the job. It’s gonna be simple, we all gotta job and got responsibilities to take care of with our home team. What happened, happened. He gotta do what he gotta do for his team and I go to do what I got to do for mine.”