Odds Favor Cavaliers as Next Team for Kyle Lowry if He’s Traded By Raptors

Kyle Lowry low dribble

Could the Raptors’ Kyle Lowry be on the move? (Photo by NurPhoto/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)
  • 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

Team Odds
Cleveland Cavaliers +250
New Orleans Pelicans +350
Los Angeles Clippers +500
Dallas Mavericks +550
San Antonio Spurs +800
Miami Heat +800
Philadelphia 76ers +900
Denver Nuggets +1000

*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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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)

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