Despite his advanced age of 35, Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry will be among the top NBA free agents in August.
The six-time All-Star averaged 17.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 7.3 assists on a stellar 40% shooting from distance last season. Multiple contending teams are going to be interested in him. Here, we look at the five best destinations for Mr. Lowry on the open market.
Kyle Lowry to the San Antonio Spurs
There’s a belief in San Antonio that Gregg Popovich and Co. are not set to go into a full-scale rebuild with the head coach having just turned 72 in January. While rumors persist that DeMar DeRozan could be headed out of town after two consecutive non-playoff seasons, there’s a chance he runs it back with San Antonio.
Now that the Spurs have north of $52 million to spend in free agency, they could potentially find a way to team DeRozan back up with former Raptors teammate Kyle Lowry. The two played together for six seasons in Canada, continually earning playoff appearances in the process. In order for this to work, San Antonio might have to engage the Raptors in sign-and-trade scenarios. Perhaps, Dejounte Murray or Derrick White could be of interest to Toronto’s brass.
Miami Heat finally add Kyle Lowry
It’s pretty much a running joke in South Beach. Heat front office head Pat Riley has been chasing after Lowry for what seems to be eons. Leading up to the 2021 NBA trade deadline back in March, something seemed to be close on this front. As you already know, nothing came to fruition.
Fresh off an ugly first-round playoff sweep at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami promises to be active this offseason. It is also likely going to decline the 2021-22 options on Goran Dragic and Andre Iguodala, leading to the ability to sign Lowry outright. A signing of this ilk would enable Miami to move Tyler Herro to his natural two-guard position with Jimmy Butler playing the three. It might be enough for the Heat to return to conference title contention after a one-year hiatus.
Los Angeles Lakers nab Kyle Lowry in sign-and-trade
NBA salary cap rules would prohibit the Lakers from pulling off a sign-and-trade that includes both Dennis Schroder and Kyle Lowry. With that said, Los Angeles still has other avenues to pursue Lowry during what promises to be an active summer for the 2020 NBA champions.
Among other things, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka will be looking for an upgrade over Schroder at point guard. It could potentially come in the form of Lowry heading to Southern California for a package including Kyle Kuzma and the Lakers’ first-round pick in 2021. Depending on whether Lowry would take a discount to chase a ring, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and other moving parts might have to land in Toronto to make the salaries work.
Kyle Lowry finds his way to the Philadelphia 76ers
Could a Ben Simmons for Kyle Lowry trade be in the cards? On paper, it makes perfect sense for both Toronto and Philadelphia. In terms of making the salaries work and overcoming NBA cap rules, it gets a bit more convoluted.
Toronto would have to clear up some extra room in this trade given that Lowry is not going to earn anywhere near the $33 million Simmons is making annually on his deal with Philadelphia. Perhaps, the Raptors sweeten the pot with underrated forward Chris Boucher. Regardless of the semantics, we absolutely love Lowry as a fit with Joel Embiid in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, the Raptors add Simmons to the mix to go with franchise stalwarts Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam. It almost makes too much sense.
New York Knicks go broke with Kyle Lowry
Flush with north of $55 million to spend in NBA free agency, the upstart Knicks can sign Lowry outright. It’s something that has come up in the Big Apple with New York looking at multiple avenues to upgrade at point guard. It also makes a ton of sense given that a sign-and-trade wouldn’t have to be worked out with Toronto.
In this scenario, New York lands Lowry at roughly $25 million annually — enabling the team to still go after another star player either via free agency or the trade market. It’s this forward-thinking mentality that could turn the Knicks into legitimate title contenders in the Eastern Conference.