As we approach this week’s NBA trade deadline, it’s no secret that the Toronto Raptors are looking to enter rebuild mode.
According to ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the franchise is engaged in discussions with teams across the league regarding the possible trade of long-time Raptor vets Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell. Those trade talks are expected to spill into tomorrow, and possibly even Thursday — the Mar. 25 deadline.
Sources: Raptors discussing Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell deals on multiple fronts and those talks are expected to extend into Wednesday — and perhaps even Thursday. Philadelphia, Miami are interested in Lowry, but both have shown restraint in how far they’ll go to get a deal.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 24, 2021
Last month, multiple reports indicated that Lowry would be interested in making a move to Philly. Growing up in Philadelphia and attending Villanova University, the 16-year NBA veteran has strong connections to the area. The fact that the 76ers currently hold first place in the Eastern Conference probably has some impact on this preference as well.
With a close personal relationship with Miami star Jimmy Butler, the Heat are another one of Lowry’s reported top landing spots. The move would be an in-state affair as the Raptors elected to play the remainder of their 2020-21 season games in Tampa. With an inexperienced backcourt, the defending Finals runner-ups could certainly use a veteran ball handler in the playoffs.
While both of these trade locations would be good fits, the issue comes with what the Raptors are willing to get in return.
According to Kevin O’Conner of The Ringer, the Toronto franchise would require the Heat to give up at least one of their young shooters (Tyler Herro or Duncan Robinson) in exchange for Lowry. This decision probably wouldn’t make much sense considering the Heat could just wait to sign Lowry in free agency next season if no deal goes through elsewhere.
That being said, if either of these teams can get Lowry at a fair price, they should jump on the opportunity.
Just two years ago in 2018-19, the star PG helped lead the Raptors to an NBA Championship behind 15.0 points and 6.6 assists per game in the playoffs. Now in his 16th season, the 34 year old is currently averaging 17.6 points and 7.4 assists — showing his continued production as a solid NBA starting point guard.
Lowry, universally considered one of the greatest Raptors of all time, has repeatedly asserted that he wants to retire in Toronto — even if that means signing a one-day contract in the future. But with the franchise currently on a nine-game losing streak and clearly looking to head in a new direction soon, it may be time that the six-time All Star move on.
Will Lowry find a new home before the deadline on Thursday?
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