Acquiring Kyle Lowry didn't come cheap for the Toronto Raptors.

The Raptors parted with a first-round draft pick to acquire Lowry from the Houston Rockets.

Most teams don't part with first-round picks for backups. Lowry, naturally, began the season as Toronto's starting point guard ahead of incumbent Jose Calderon.

Then Lowry began dealing with injuries, the last being a partially torn triceps that cost him seven games last month. During that time, Calderon began playing well and so did the Raptors, 8-2 in their last 10 games.

That left coach Dwane Casey to decide whether to plug Lowry back in the starting lineup or ride things out with Calderon.

The big offseason pickup would come off the bench, Casey concluded.

"Jose earned his spot," Casey said. "He earned his position."

Forget the notion that a player can't lose his starting job because of an injury.

Teams aren't simply putting injured stars back in the starting lineup as soon as they are cleared to play.

Superstars won't be reserves full time, but it's wrong to assume medical clearance means lineups return to how they were.