One of the most interesting players entering this season's trade deadline is Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry.
It's still unknown if he will be made available ahead of the trade deadline on March 25 - ESPN's Zach Lowe reports that he has been told from teams that the Raptors have "not yet been aggressive engaging on Lowry talks" - but that hasn't stopped teams from expressing interest in the six-time All-Star. According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers are "leaders in pursuit to acquire Lowry." The LA Clippers have also been mentioned as a possibility for him.
Charania adds that Lowry and the Raptors have built such a relationship that "both sides would work on any potential trade."
With that in mind, let's go through each team that has been tied to Lowry and take a closer look at why a trade would make sense for him and the Raptors in the chance that he does become available.
Why it would make sense for Lowry: According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, those with knowledge of Lowry's mindset "believe he wants to compete for a championship." The Heat have been a little up-and-down this season, but they're coming off of a trip to the NBA Finals and Lowry is the type of piece who could put them over the top. Not only would he fit in like a glove in the Heat's culture, he has the potential to complement Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo well on both ends of the court, giving Miami another versatile defender, a playmaker and knockdown shooter. The icing on the cake: Lowry already has a relationship with both Butler and Adebayo.
Why it would make sense for the Raptors: The Heat have an interesting mix of young players. A deal for Lowry would almost certainly include some combination of Goran Dragic, Andre Iguodala, Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley to match his $30.0 million salary this season, but Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson or Precious Achiuwa would likely be the draw, especially with the Heat being limited on how many draft picks they can trade. It would depend on how high the Raptors are on those players and who the Heat would be willing to give up for what could turn out to be a rental for Lowry. (In the final year of his current contract, he's set to be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason).
According to The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor, the Raptors would require "at least" Herro or Robinson in any potential deal for Lowry.
Why it would make sense for Lowry: Two reasons. One, the 76ers are in a position to compete for a championship this season. They would lose some of their depth if they were to trade for Lowry, but the combination of him, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid would give the 76ers an even better chance of competing with the likes of the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers. The 76ers could also do with Lowry's playmaking at the guard position in the playoffs. Two, Lowry was born in Philadelphia and went to college at Villanova. A trade to the 76ers would be a homecoming for him.
Why it would make sense for the Raptors: Some combination of Seth Curry, Danny Green, Mike Scott and Terrance Ferguson would be needed to match Lowry's salary this season. Once again, the draw for the Raptors would be one or two of Philadelphia's younger players, such as Matisse Thybulle and Tyrese Maxey. What makes the 76ers particularly appealing is they have control of all but one of their future first-round picks. They might not be willing to part ways with multiple draft picks because Lowry will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, but the 76ers might be able to offer the most well-rounded package - salary filler, young player(s), draft pick(s) - of the teams reportedly interested in him.
Why it would make sense for Lowry: Another title contender. The Clippers have already been linked to New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball because of their need for an additional playmaker. Ball is a younger and cheaper option, but Lowry would solve a lot more of their problems this season. It helps that Lowry has a relationship with Kawhi Leonard and Serge Ibaka, having won a championship with them on the Raptors. He and Paul George were also teammates in 2016 when Team USA won a gold medal at the Summer Olympics. That familiarity would ease Lowry's transition.
Why it would make sense for the Raptors: This is the hardest destination to make sense for the Raptors because the Clippers are short on assets. They'd struggle to match Lowry's salary, they don't have many young prospects on their roster and they control only one of their first-round picks between now and 2027. Nothing can ever be ruled out in the NBA, but a trade to the Clippers seems highly unlikely in the days leading up to the trade deadline.
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