Fred VanVleet wants former Raptors like Kyle Lowry to receive a ‘warm welcome in a packed house’ upon returning to Toronto'
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The Miami Heat are scheduled to play a road game against the Toronto Raptors on Feb. 1.

If Heat guard Kyle Lowry plays in that contest, it will mark his first time taking the floor on Toronto’s home court since his departure from the Raptors organization.

However, it could be a bittersweet homecoming for Lowry because Scotiabank Arena, which hosts Toronto’s home games, currently has restrictions in place for attendance.

If Raptors star Fred VanVleet could have it his way, he’d prefer for Lowry to return to Toronto when there’s a “packed house.”

“We need these guys to come back to a warm welcome in a packed house,” VanVleet said. “Whenever that may be, I think that’s the proper welcome back for any of our guys.”

VanVleet wants the members of the Raptors’ 2019 championship team to feel appreciated. Multiple key members of that squad have already returned to Toronto this season.

Serge Ibaka of the Los Angeles Clippers and Jonas Valanciunas of the New Orleans Pelicans have both played in Toronto during this campaign with no fans in the seats to recognize their contributions from the Raptors’ 2019 title run.

As for Lowry, though, he certainly deserves a warm welcome from Raptors fans. In addition to the key role he played during the team’s run to the 2019 title, he also gave the franchise nearly a decade of his career.

The six-time All-Star helped the Raptors reach the playoffs in every season from the 2013-14 season through the 2019-20 campaign. He is also the franchise leader in several categories, including total assists, steals, 3-point field goals and triple-doubles.

This season, the star guard is looking to win a ring for the second time in his career. However, this time around, he’s looking to get the job done with the Heat.

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Orel writes all day, everyday. During the day, he writes and does research to complete his master's degree in education. During the night, he writes about the league he has loved since the '90s: the NBA.