The Toronto Raptors are 10-13 on the year and clearly won’t be a player in the Eastern Conference title race this season. Things went bad for the organization as soon as they alienated Serge Ibaka with their handling of Marc Gasol, and it has all been downhill since. As such, the franchise has started looking towards the future.
Kyle Lowry signed a one-year, $30 million contract with Toronto last year and is set to become an unrestricted free agent once it expires. As such, it would make sense for the organization to try to get what they can for him now while his trade value is still reasonably high.
According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, “there is a portion of Raptors personnel … that believes the franchise should bid its beloved All-Star farewell and begin Toronto’s next chapter in earnest.”
Rival teams see the writing on the wall as well.
“There’s a time capsule for everybody and everything,” said one Western Conference executive to Fischer, “and it’s probably just time to move on.”
Assuming the Raptors do decide to move Lowry at some point in the foreseeable future, where would he go? Currently, there appear to be two viable options.
The likeliest landing spot for the 34-year-old seems to be Miami.
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“Lowry’s age and the length of his contract may limit his most likely suitors to championship contenders,” Fischer noted. “And while they’ve been mired in their own slow start, the Heat still hold title aspirations and have long shown interest in Lowry. ‘He’s a very Miami-type player,’ another Eastern team official said. ‘Gritty, tough.’”
Miami isn’t the only team in the Kyle Lowry Sweepstakes, though. The Los Angeles Clippers also remain a realistic contender for his services.
“The Clippers might have a cleaner path to landing Lowry,” Fischer wrote. “‘I think Toronto would want to send him West,’ one Eastern team official said, ‘but Masai is going to do a deal that brings back the best package.’ The Clippers might be able to provide both.
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“Los Angeles has made it widely known that Lou Williams is available, sources said, and there’s a cohort in that front office ready to move on from Patrick Beverley as well—although the Clippers have been more in the market for a mid-tier guard than someone like Lowry, sources said. Adding someone of Lowry’s caliber, however, would boost L.A.’s best punch against the West’s other heavyweights.”
Lowry has also previously been linked to a potential deal involving the Los Angeles Lakers, though it remains unclear how feasible of an option that is.
Lowry is currently averaging 17.6 points, 7.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game while shooting 42.2 percent from the field and nearly 37 percent from beyond the arc. Whatever squad ultimately gets him, whether it ends up being the Heat, Clippers or somebody else, will suddenly get a lot better very quickly.