In contention for an NBA championship, the Toronto Raptors are reportedly trying to deal Kyle Lowry in a potential blockbuster with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Jake Fisher of Sports Illustrated reported that the Raptors offered Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas for Mike Conley and Marc Gasol.
While Memphis has most seriously continued dialogue with Utah and Detroit on Mike Conley trade packages, the Raptors called Memphis offering Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas for Conley and Marc Gasol, per league sources. Lowry is aware of Toronto’s general trade discussions.
— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) February 5, 2019
The Grizzlies have reportedly rejected the initial offer, per Fischer.
Still this shows how fast things change in sports. Only one year ago, the Raptors had the second-best record in the NBA. That was largely on the backs of Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan is already gone and apparently, Toronto is willing to send Lowry packing, as well.
Looking beyond that, while there are obviously some long-term ramifications, Valanciunas is the only player in the trade under the age of 30. Given that the Grizzlies are well out of playoff contention, the main question is, would this be a good short-term deal for the Raptors?
Toronto would be giving up Lowry, who is averaging 14.1 points and 9.2 assists per game, while shooting 40.9 percent from the field, 31.9 percent on threes, and 84.6 percent on free throws and Valanciunas (12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds, 57.5/30/81.9 shooting). In exchange, the Raptors would be landing Conley, (20.3 points, 6.3 assists, 43.5/35.9/84.7 shooting) and Gasol (15.7 points, 9.6 rebounds, 44.4/34.4/75.6 shooting).
In terms of pure scoring, Toronto would be getting an upgrade. But this is also far from a slam dunk. The Raptors would definitely miss what Valanciunas and especially Lowry bring to the table.