- The Cleveland Cavaliers are the betting favorites to trade for Raptors’ guard Kyle Lowry
- Several NBA teams are interested in the veteran guard’s ability
- See below where we think Lowry will end up if he does get traded
Proving that the NBA works in light years against the rest of the normal world, Kyle Lowry is rumored to be on the trading block.
The veteran guard, two years removed from leading the franchise to its only championship, and just months removed from a Game 7 loss that would have vaulted them into the Eastern Conference Finals, could be available for the right price.
Strangely enough, it’s the Cleveland Cavaliers serving as the current frontrunners.
Kyle Lowry Trade Destination Odds
|New Orleans Pelicans||+350|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+500|
|San Antonio Spurs||+800|
*Odds from February 11
Let’s look at at the potential suitors, and let’s see if we can’t find the best bet for K-Low’s services.
Toronto’s Struggles Are Real
Make no mistake: the only way Masai Ujiri deals the face of his franchise is if he is assured of being able to compete now, or to reboot the franchise onto a course of competitiveness for the foreseeable future. Funny, because it’s Ujiri’s recent body of work that’s landed them in this position.
the kyle lowry trade rumors won’t stop anytime soon. how should the raptors proceed?
full episode: https://t.co/FCkGyb0S6U pic.twitter.com/gwScX6YCm5
— Yahoo Sports Canada (@YahooCASports) February 11, 2021
After bowing out to the Boston Celtics in Round 2 of the NBA playoffs a year ago, the Raptors lost key pieces in big men Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol to free agency, both winding up with LA teams. Masai gambled short-term pickups Aaron Baynes and Alex Len could float them, while Chris Boucher and OG Anunoby took the leap.
Unfortunately, Baynes has been a non-factor, Len has already been released, and Boucher and Anunoby have had to assume major minutes in the trenches. The result was a dreadful 2-8 start.
Lowry A Prized Pickup
Credit Nick Nurse for turning it around, embracing the smaller lineups, getting out and running and shooting a ton of threes. Lowry has been steady as usual, averaging 17.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.6 assists in 22 games, while drilling a solid 38.2% from deep. His gritty leadership has pulled the Raptors to 12-13 and into the top-8 of the iffy East.
Kyle Lowry knows the Raptors will only get the better as the season progresses ?? pic.twitter.com/BzTdtLLaa5
— Raptors Nation (@RaptorsNationCP) February 7, 2021
But Toronto is clearly out of true contender status, and down a couple of tiers to playoff team, which has led to these rumors — not helped by Lowry putting his Toronto home for sale on the market.
Raptors fans believe this North York luxury home is for six-time all-star Kyle Lowry, who is set to be a free agent this summer. The biggest clue? Property records show the company listed as the owner as KL7 Inc. @Raptors #Toronto #NorthYork #RealEstate https://t.co/8LeVHiMqbe pic.twitter.com/fwKlZyKQJZ
— toronto.com (@torontodotcom) February 10, 2021
There should be a ton of suitors for the 34-year-old’s services. Aside from Bradley Beal, who’s leading the NBA in scoring, Lowry is the pickup that can upgrade a team’s fortunes. An impact player that doesn’t need plays called for him, he is a supercharged third option and a more than capable second star.
The Best of Kyle Lowry! | 2019 NBA Playoffs #NBAClips https://t.co/UL3P0p1QMX pic.twitter.com/jRpMHfzkhi
— NBA Clips (@clips_nba) May 26, 2019
He also brings top-end defensive chops to the table — against Boston, the 6-foot Lowry was the one tasked with covering 6-foot-8 all-star Jayson Tatum. He is definite title-player material, and a proven playoff performer.
Where Does He End Up?
Cleveland likely has no interest in keeping Lowry, but the proposed trade involves dealing Andre Drummond, the NBA’s current leading rebounder and an unrestricted free agent after this year. In return would be Lowry (also a UFA after this year), but reportedly three future first-round picks tacked on.
Keep those dimes [email protected] x @AndreDrummond pic.twitter.com/I2QUsxR26q
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) February 7, 2021
In Drummond, the Raptors would have a big man to balance out their roster, to bolster a pretty competitive group based around Fred VanVeleet, Pascal Siakam, Norm Powell and Anunoby. The move almost assuredly gets TO into the playoffs, but not sure that moves the needle against Brooklyn, Philly or Milwaukee.
“This year, the Clippers are really good. If they added Kyle Lowry they might be the best team in basketball. Adding LeBron James would definitely make them the best team. But they have the same chance of adding either guy.” — @getnickwright pic.twitter.com/TDXwBi9jEo
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) February 10, 2021
What about the contenders? It’s going to be tough for the Clippers to pull this off, as sending out $30 million to match Lowry’s salary would probably cost them Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams, as well as big man Ivaca Zubac. This is a team that’s currently battling for top seed in the NBA.
The 76ers would love to have Lowry return to his hometown, but it’s not likely Toronto wants Tobias Harris back, which is about the most the East’s top seed would want to give up — unless they’d consider promising rook Tyrese Maxey (not likely).
The Toronto Raptors is expected to trade Kyle Lowry before the deadline and the Miami Heat have expressed interest in trading for him, per @JakeLFischer. pic.twitter.com/PfrN7ZzNKd
— NBA Fantasy News (@NBAFantasyNews1) February 8, 2021
Apart from Cleveland, Miami and New Orleans offer the most intriguing packages, but would likely result in Toronto punting this season, as their big man problems would persist. A Pels package would likely include Lonzo Ball, JJ Redick and serviceable forward Nicolo Melli. The Heat, meanwhile, may need to part with either Duncan Robinson or Tyler Herro.
For now, the Cleveland deal gives Toronto a chance to compete now, and worry about a rebuild next season.
The pick: Cleveland (+250)