Heading into unrestricted free agency, the Raptors could be seeking to sign-and-trade veteran point guard Kyle Lowry this offseason.
Lowry made $30 million last season before becoming an unrestricted free agent. Toronto should be looking to cash in on Lowry’s value in a sign-and-trade, gaining at least some assets and/or picks that align with the team’s young core of Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and OG Anunoby.
Toronto also holds the fourth overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, a perfect opportunity to draft Lowry’s replacement at the guard spot.
Though undersized and past his prime at 35-years-old, Lowry can certainly still be a difference maker for a team in the championship hunt. Last season, he averaged 17.2 points, 7.3 assists, and 5.4 rebounds as the Raptors’ starting point guard in 46 games played. Lowry shot 43 percent from the field, and nearly 40 percent from deep, showing no drop-off in efficiency even as a veteran.
With Chris Paul’s run with Phoenix as a blueprint, Lowry, a key member of Toronto’s 2019 championship team, can easily boost a teams’ ceiling and provide toughness and veteran presence.
The following teams would have the best packages for Lowry, especially if a deal gets made ahead of the 2021 NBA Draft. Not only that, they would be appealing destinations for Lowry to agree to sign with. Lowry is rumored to be seeking a contract in the $25-30 million range.
Given the team is currently shopping All-Star Ben Simmons, the Sixers seem to be a great trade parter for Toronto in a Lowry sign-and-trade. Lowry, a Philly native, would be a far more natural fit at the point guard spot than Simmons, allowing the Sixers’ offense to flow more naturally.
In Toronto, Simmons would be in a new system that could allow him focus more on his defensive and playmaking strengths rather than his well-known offensive weaknesses.
Simmons and another asset for Lowry in a sign-and-trade would be a fair trade for both teams, making Philly a well-rounded team and giving Toronto one of the league’s best defenders.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers could acquire Lowry in a sign-and-trade with the Raptors by giving up Kyle Kuzma and one of either Montrezl Harrell or Dennis Schroder, who are also free agents who would need to be signed before being traded.
Lowry would be an excellent ‘true point guard’ to set up for LeBron James and Anthony Davis as well as score when necessary. Acquiring him would give them a renewed run at another title, even if Lowry will be 36-years-old by the time next season’s playoffs arrive.
Kuzma, like Simmons, could improve his skillset on a new team, particularly one with more offensive opportunity. Schroder or Harrell would be a good asset for the Raptors to flip later on.
Finally, Miami could acquire Lowry in a sign-and-trade, though the more likely option would be to sign him outright in free agency if they choose not to re-sign Victor Oladipo this summer. Part of any sign-and-trade would be Miami picking up the team option of point guard Goran Dragic, who would make over $19 million next season.
With the Heat, Lowry would provide toughness, defense, and a better scoring option than Dragic. A roster shakeup like this would make the Heat more competitive next season after getting beat in the first round of this year’s playoffs.
For Toronto, a young asset would have to be included, such as Duncan Robinson or Tyler Herro. This may be a sticking point for Miami in any sign-and-trade for Lowry.
Featured image credited to USA Today.
Stats credited to basketball-reference.com.