NBA Rumor: Kyle Lowry Free Agency

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Pelicans pursuing Kyle Lowry for similar role as Chris Paul in Phoenix

David Griffin hopes to make a huge offer to veteran free agent point guard Kyle Lowry, sources say, in an effort to import the type of leadership that Chris Paul brought to the Suns last year in morphing them into contenders. Green fits with that plan. He and Suns coach Monty Williams are deeply aligned and have the same relationship-based approach to coaching. Williams and Green were teammates in Philadelphia 18 years ago, then Green played for Williams in New Orleans a decade ago.

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New Orleans’ deal appears directly engineered as a way to clear salary-cap space for an aggressive offer for Kyle Lowry in free agency. The Lakers, Sixers, Mavericks and Heat all remain linked by league sources as potential Lowry suitors, which will be just one element of a cluttered point guard market. It’s believed New Orleans, like each other team just mentioned, would have its sights set on Spencer Dinwiddie should Lowry choose to play elsewhere. The spinning of that point guard carousel will surely impact the landing spots for Lonzo Ball and Dennis Schroder, too.

The first option for the seven-time NBA champion is Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors whom the Lakers failed to acquire before the trade deadline this past season. “It’s going to be hard because of that salary cap for them to get a veteran guard,” Horry said on ESPN’s The Jump. “You talk about CP3, I don’t think he’ going to give up all that money to go to the Lakers. And you talk about Westbrook. It’s too much money. “You got to think about. The Lakers aren’t going to do that. If you’re going to look for a guard, you got to go with someone like Kyle Lowry. I know they didn’t get him in the trade but maybe you can sweet talk him and say ‘Yo man, we can give you whatever we can, come play for us, let’s win a championship. You only got one, dog. One ring don’t really count anybody, you gotta get two or more so come play with us with the Lakers.’

Pelicans shopping Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe to make room for Kyle Lowry

Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe were two guys that some executives I had spoken to around the league felt could be tradeable guys for New Orleans. If you’re going to try to offer Lowry the type of money he’s looking for in free agency, they have to move one of those guys… The interest in Lowry makes sense for New Orleans trying to get better. I don’t think he’s this Chris Paul type of player who can elevate them to where the Suns were as a championship contender, but he’d certainly make them better for the short term.

The scout said that the ideal person to run the Sixers offense is Kyle Lowry, who made $30.5 million for Toronto last season and will be entering free agency. The scout said he doesn’t feel Lowry is a $30 million-type player at age 35, but that he can still be highly effective if he came to the Sixers. Lowry is from Philadelphia, starring at Cardinal Dougherty and then Villanova before beginning a 15-year NBA career that has included an NBA championship in 2019 with the Raptors and six All-Star appearances. “I would move heaven and earth to try to bring him home,” the scout said of Lowry. “He would be a natural for this team, a strong leader, and somebody who could take over the ballhandling load.”

In the past, sources said Lowry — a Philadelphia guy who played at Villanova — wanted to be a Knick. He’s 35, an NBA champion and still can bring shotmaking and playmaking. Don’t discount Lowry re-signing, unless the Raptors draft Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs. One league executive said giving more than a one-year guarantee at max money makes for a risk at age 35. “He’s better suited for a title contender — and that’s not the Knicks,’’ one personnel man said.

Kyle Lowry on free agency: 'No one knows what the future holds'

“Everyone’s gonna have their own opinion,” Lowry said. “And it’s a good story for people to write and to have fun with. But we’ll see what happens. No one knows what the future holds. No one knows what comes with the next day. We all just have to live it every day and every moment. And that’s important, to just take it day by day and minute by minute, hour by hour, and live our lives like that. But it’s a cool story to write for people. I just hope they make me look really cool.”

The other major decision facing the Raptors this offseason is attempting to retain star free agent Kyle Lowry, the team’s longest-tenured player and one of the driving forces behind its 2019 title. Ujiri said that decision will be made, in part, on what direction Toronto looks to go as an organization this offseason. “It just depends on what we are doing,” Ujiri said. “When we evaluate this, we are evaluating in many ways. One of the ways we have looked at is giving the young guys even more opportunity and building the future rather than now. We have to look at the organization that way.

Sixers will pursue Kyle Lowry again

Lowry not getting traded at the March 25 deadline was quite a surprise, but it wasn’t for lack of trying on the part of the Toronto front office. But as team president Masai Ujiri made clear back then, the Raptors still have an incredibly high opinion of Lowry and his game that — as they saw it — wasn’t properly reflected in the offers that came their way. Yet among the three teams known to be in hot pursuit of Lowry back then — the Lakers, Miami and Philadelphia — only the Heat are in a financial position to possibly sign Lowry outright this summer. Sources say the Sixers still plan on pursuing him by way of a possible sign-and-trade. While they added George Hill at the deadline in lieu of Lowry, only $1.2 million of his $10 million salary for next season is guaranteed, and the deal expires at that point. The Lowry interest remains very strong there.

All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry understands why Kawhi Leonard would leave for the Los Angeles Clippers, but the longtime leader of the Toronto Raptors has no desire to bolt Canada. “I want to be there — I would love to do a long extension, but we’ll see what happens,” Lowry said. “I’m here for USA Basketball and (to) support the guys and be around the group. I would love to be there long term, but we’ll have that discussion when the time is right.”

Kyle Lowry staying in Toronto

Kyle Lowry: But for me, at the end of the day, this was an easy decision. And all of those roads … they all led me back to the same place: home. They all led me back to Toronto. When I got here, five years ago, there was a lot of rebuilding talk. A lot of, Man, this roster, I don’t know … the Raptors gotta blow it up. These experts, I think they wanted us to trade this, waive that, tank this, draft that. That was most of the talk surrounding our franchise. And I was definitely one of the names being included in that talk.

Kyle Lowry: I’m coming back to Toronto because my heart is telling me that it’s home — and because staying home, for me and my family, feels like the right thing to do. My heart is telling me that this is the best city in the world, with the best basketball fans in the world. It’s telling me that the Raptors can be a championship-level team, sooner than later. And I’ll be honest (and don’t hate) — it’s telling me that I’ve still never had poutine.

DeMar DeRozan has made it clear that he won’t try to influence the free-agency decision of friend and All-Star backcourt mate, Kyle Lowry, but the All-NBA shooting guard does have one request for Lowry – just give him a heads up first. “As long as he tells me, and I don’t have to read it, I’m completely fine with it,” DeRozan told theScore on Wednesday, when asked how he’d react to the worst-case scenario of Lowry departing Toronto. “If he comes to me as a man and tells me it’s time to move on, I’ll respect it. It’s just the choices in life we have to deal with. You’re kind of more accepting when somebody close to you like that tells you before they do something, so you’re not surprised just like everybody else. As a friend – me calling myself his friend – I have to just respect it.”

That said, the Raptors don’t want to use more resources than required. They have sent signals in the past that they are reluctant to offer a guaranteed fifth year to a point guard who will turn 32 next season and would prefer to avoid a fully-vested fourth year. “It’s a smart move,” said one player agent. “It means they don’t have to bid against themselves.” “Maybe he gets out there and finds out there’s not a better deal for him,” says another.

I’ll sneak in one Raptors question while we’re on the subject. With Kyle Lowry going into free agency, will you recruit him? DeMar DeRozan: Last go around when he was up for free agency, I never once called him and said what he should do. He’d tell you himself. I’ll take the same approach. At the end of the day, he has to make the right decision for himself and his family. No matter how close we are, I never fool with that part of it. When you have a family and that dynamic comes into play, you have to do what’s best for you. He has to be able to live with whatever decision he makes, and as a friend I just have to support him.

“He’s been a part of our organization, and he says he wants to come back,” Ujiri told the media Tuesday morning. “I know, speculation … with the article. We all have ups and downs. There are times when he’s been down, and there are times when we are down. It happens to every team, every player. People go through it. “I know what Kyle has told me. Kyle has been here working out – he actually just left – so I know what he has been telling me. I can only believe what he tells me, not the famous ‘sources.'”

Appearing on the 97.5 Midday Show, ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst continued to stoke the Lowry to Philly fire, calling the scenario “in play” (h/t Liberty Ballers): I think it’s in play. I think the Sixers are interested, I would think it would take a max-level contract. I don’t know how Bryan Colangelo feels about paying a 31-year-old a max-level contract, and they’ve also declared that Ben Simmons is going to be their guy. That could be a marriage where you bring Ben along with Kyle, and then by the time Kyle is ready to transition to a more backup role, maybe Ben could be ready, or maybe they want to go with Ben right away. That’s things they haven’t made public yet and I understand why they haven’t.
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July 28, 2021 | 7:03 pm EDT Update