A league source says the Raptors want to reward Lowry for his years of service by helping him secure an opportunity to win another NBA title. That would help his legacy. That’s where the Sixers, Heat, and Clippers come in, sources say. Though things are far from definite at this point.
A source said Lowry would like to be in Philly. The source believes the Sixers and Raptors might be able to get something done. But if it comes to that, Toronto would most likely want some picks, young players, and veterans with expiring contracts for Lowry, who’s making $30 million this season.
Sixers president of basketball operation Daryl Morey has always liked Lowry, sources said. He also likes him personally. But let’s not forget that Morey traded him to Raptors on July 11, 2012, for Gary Forbes and 2013 first-round pick.
Kyle Lowry would be a perfect fit for the 76ers. The same can be said about the Miami Heat. The best spot for the Philly native and Toronto Raptors point guard, however, is the Los Angeles Clippers. According to sources, those three teams could become potential trade destinations for the former Cardinal Dougherty High School and Villanova standout. That is, of course, if Lowry opts to not finish the season with the Raptors.
The Sixers, meanwhile, could make a big acquisition of their own. League sources say Philadelphia, which came up short in its bid for Harden, is still seeking major moves to increase its championship odds. The trade market still needs to take shape in the coming weeks, so realistic targets are unclear. But one name to monitor is Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, a 34-year-old Philadelphia native in the final season of his contract. A veteran perimeter shot-creator is the only piece the Sixers truly lack, and there aren’t many other players on Lowry’s level who are even theoretically available.
Doug Smith: To perhaps calm Raptors minds, consider this: Does anyone think any story/rumour/fabrication that cites inside Raptors sources is at all legit given the absolute aversion the organization has to leaking its thoughts? Come on!
The Clippers might have a cleaner path to landing Lowry. "I think Toronto would want to send him West," one Eastern team official said, "but Masai is going to do a deal that brings back the best package." The Clippers might be able to provide both. Los Angeles has made it widely known that Lou Williams is available, sources said, and there's a cohort in that front office ready to move on from Patrick Beverley as well —although the Clippers have been more in the market for a mid-tier guard than someone like Lowry, sources said. Adding someone of Lowry’s caliber, however, would boost L.A.'s best punch against the West's other heavyweights.
There are more cap gymnastics in play, and Miami has limited options in draft capital until 2025. It seems the Heat might have to part with one of Tyler Herro or Duncan Robinson to make any Lowry deal worth Toronto's while. The Heat have never appeared keen to move either, league sources said, yet it's uncertain how Miami's slow start will color the team's efforts to capitalize on this championship window with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo in place. "You know with Pat Riley, nothing's off the table," one rival executive said.
The Magic are in dire need of ball-handling help having lost Markelle Fultz for the season, and it's worth mentioning that Orlando president Jeff Weltman arrived in Disney World after years helping steer the Raptors. But there's little optimism Lowry would re-sign in Orlando after this season, sources said, and teams are curious if the Magic finally emerge as sellers before this trade deadline after dangling Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon prior to the draft and falling into another pedestrian regular season.
One last dark-horse option to keep an eye on: San Antonio. The 13-10 Spurs have jumped out to a stronger start than many around the league anticipated, and while trade chatter remains hushed, Patty Mills has been floated as an available name of late. The Spurs also own all their upcoming picks. Mills and Rudy Gay's expiring contracts could get it done and reunite Lowry with DeMar DeRozan.
There is a portion of Raptors personnel, league sources said, that believes the franchise should bid its beloved All-Star farewell and begin Toronto's next chapter in earnest. "There's a time capsule for everybody and everything," said one Western Conference executive, "and it's probably just time to move on."
Sean Woodley: I think it’s way too premature to entertain the idea of a Kyle Lowry trade right now. It’s also worth noting that it’s going to be extremely difficult for a Kyle Lowry trade to transpire because of the money he makes and because the Raptors still very clearly value flexibility. You could probably construct some trades out there and throw a bunch of contracts and some picks in and it works on paper. Then in theory, maybe it’s not the worst deal for the Raptors to get some assets in return but they’re not about tying their cap space up for multiple years on bad contracts just in the name of a couple of extra assets for Kyle Lowry.
Adrian Wojnarowski on Raptors: "There could be at the trade deadline an exodus from their championship core."
League sources told Heavy.com that the Raptors are quite happy with where they are entering this season and have not been entertaining trade talks on its three big-dollar veterans—center Marc Gasol, guard Kyle Lowry and forward Serge Ibaka—each of whom happens to be in the final year of his contract.
As for veterans Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka – who are all on expiring deals – the Raptors have no intention of moving them, at least not before the season, according to sources. Like he did with previous Raptors teams, Ujiri will give this group an opportunity to sink or swim before choosing a path and deciding what comes next.
There's also interest in point guard Kyle Lowry, who could be available if the Raptors lose Kawhi Leonard in free agency. Because of Lowry's age (33) and contract ($33 million for next season), the Lakers could bring him in for a relatively limited outgoing package. Another guy who, according to sources, the Lakers have an interest in is big man Derrick Favors. The Jazz have a team option on Favors that must be exercised by July 6 or he will be a free agent.
Toronto ultimately traded for Gasol, but a deal sending Lowry out was never close, league sources said. Hundreds of frameworks of deals are discussed by all 30 NBA teams during trade deadline season, and many never see the light. Either way, this wasn’t solely about trade conversation for Lowry or Ujiri, it was about moving beyond the sour taste that existed between them. It was about a man-to-man conversation that needed to take place. “You dwell on things that you don’t need to dwell on, and it makes things worse,” Lowry said. “You have a conversation, you figure things out, you talk about it, and you move on. Shake your hands, and you go about your business. It worked out for the both of us, worked out for everybody. At the end of the day, he is the president of basketball operations and I am a player. Those are our roles. People take that the wrong way, but that is very much the truth.”
Michael Grange: To to the extent there was any traction on a deal that would involve Lowry/Conley there is none now, I am told.
Tomer Azarly: Per @Brian Windhorst, #Raptors' guard "Kyle Lowry has a possibility that he could end up with the [Utah] #Jazz. Lowry is definitely concerned about being traded by tomorrow."
Lowry, a Philadelphia native and former Villanova star, had 17 points in the first half and finished with 20. He seemed unfazed by a report from Sports Illustrated that Toronto had offered him to Memphis as part of a trade package for Mike Conley and Marc Gasol. "I personally want to be in Toronto," Lowry said. "I've never asked for a trade. My goal is to try to win a championship here, and that's what I want to do."
Perhaps of greatest intrigue, the Toronto Raptors have called Memphis offering Jonas Valanciunas and Kyle Lowry for both of Conley and Gasol, league sources told Sports Illustrated. Memphis, sources said, would prefer to receive younger players such as OG Anunoby or draft assets in any exchange with Toronto that would send Conley north. The Grizzlies of course rejected Toronto’s initial offer. Lowry has been made aware of Toronto’s negotiations involving him, according to once source close to the All-Star point guard.
Kyle Lowry has no desire to play for anyone but the Toronto Raptors. But if the All-Star guard is sent elsewhere between now and the NBA's Thursday trade deadline, Lowry said he'll have no hard feelings toward the team he has played for the past six-plus seasons. "I think they will make decisions for themselves, and they'll do what's best for them," Lowry told ESPN after scoring 20 points to go with six assists and two steals in a 119-107 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday. "I don't think there's one thing I can say or do [to change that], you know what I mean?
Lowry has been discussed as a piece in a potential deal with the Memphis Grizzlies, sources confirmed to ESPN. He admitted he was surprised that his name had come up at all, and that he hasn't been contacted by anyone in Toronto's front office about a potential deal. "No, I haven't heard anything," Lowry said. "Reassurance would be great, but at the end of the day, they don't have to call me. My job is, as a player, to go out here and do my job. If they want to call me, that'd be great. I would appreciate it. But if they don't, I understand. "It's a business. I know that's such a cliche, but if they wanted to call me, I'm sure they would. I've been here six years, and I've given a lot to this organization. I'm sure if they were going to trade me, they'd say, 'Hey, Kyle, this is what's on the table.'"
Michael Grange: Kyle Lowry on being the subject of trade rumours: “I personally want to be in Toronto. I never asked for a trade. My goal is to win a championship here and that’s what I want to do."
Did you still want to be in Toronto? Kyle Lowry: That’s a good question. I just wanted to be where I could win and I was wanted. And it was here. They didn’t trade me, so I guess this was the situation I was going to be in. And as a professional with the situation I am going to be in, I’m going to do my job.
Q: Who is more likely to be traded: Kyle Lowry or DeMar DeRozan? — Mike (Cambridge, Ontario) Marc STEIN: I reported before the recent N.B.A. draft that the Raptors' roster featured no untouchables, amid a growing buzz that Toronto was trying to trade its way into the top 10. Now? After LeBron James announced that he's leaving the Eastern Conference after eight straight trips to the N.B.A. finals? I'm inclined to believe that both of Toronto's cornerstone guards will start the season right where we last saw them.
Of the two, moving DeRozan seems more conceivable. At 28, turning 29 in August, he’s younger than Lowry (32), makes less annually and plays a position that’s of greater need to most teams – meaning his market value is likely higher. He may also be more expendable. Although DeRozan proved adaptable last season, at least more so than many expected, Lowry still projects as being a better fit in Nurse’s system – predicated on three-point shooting and positional versatility on the defensive end. Still, factoring in everything that would need to fall into place to make a blockbuster, franchise-altering type of deal work, the safe bet is on both DeRozan and Lowry remaining with the Raptors.
DeRozan, Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas will likely garner the most interest on the market, though Ujiri could look to cut salary in the form of top disappointment Serge Ibaka or Norman Powell, who is about to see his salary take a leap as his extension kicks in.
Exec weighs in: “If anything does happen with that roster, Lowry is probably the guy who makes the most sense. He can be hard-headed, that was always his reputation, but he seems to have mellowed out now that he’s older. He’s tough and he has two years left on the contract, which makes it easy to take, especially if you can get rid of a bad deal on your books. I think that is what Toronto is going to be looking at with him and of all the possibilities, that’s the most likely.”
April 21, 2021 | 3:08 am EDT Update
Ohm Youngmisuk: DeMarcus Cousins has no time for PG hate: “We gotta stop the PG slander. It just won’t be accepted around me. He’s one of the most gifted players in this league and every chance I get, I’m gonna give him his flowers.”
StatMuse: The Clippers are 17-5 since the All-Star break. 1st in win percentage 1st in offensive rating 1st in 3P% 2nd in net rating 4th in FG% 5th in defensive rating The hottest team in the NBA right now.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Paul George on DeMarcus Cousins: “We’re getting flashes of vintage Boogie… what will be most impressive about his game is that he automatically draws double teams. He’s instant offense for us, dump the ball down there for him and he’s a playmaker.”
Eric Nehm: A league source has confirmed @Jim Owczarski’s earlier reporting to The Athletic. Mamadi Diakite has grabbed the Bucks’ 15th roster spot on a multi-year deal and the Bucks signed Justin Jackson to fill his two-way spot. Their roster is full at 17 players (15 + 2 two-way deals).
Kyrie Irving capped a 32-point performance with a tough turnaround jumper, a driving layup through converging defenders and four free throws in the final minute, and the Brooklyn Nets held on for a 134-129 victory over the reeling New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night. “Obviously, when Kyrie does his thing and hits tough shots like that, it truly saves us,” said Nets forward Blake Griffin, who had 16 points and eight rebounds in a reserve role. “But I thought overall we did a better job of just trying to like, do it by committee, moving off the ball and not settling.”
Williamson, who was debuting his own Jordan brand basketball shoe, scored 33 points, mostly on strong moves in the paint that produced dunks and contested layups. Brandon Ingram added 27 points for the Pelicans, who fell four games behind Golden State and San Antonio for the final play-in spot in the Western Conference with 14 games left in the regular season. “I’m not going to lie,” Williamson said. “It does get kind of annoying to sit up here every other game saying we’re right there and we’re not closing out. So, I think we’ve got to focus on some of those small things. I say it over and over, but until we do it, some of those outcomes aren’t going to change.”
Scott Kushner: Zion says the players “take the blame” on this one. Said SVG told them they were a bit lifeless at times on the bench. Says it’s “annoying” to keep revisiting explanations about how close they are.