With the 2021 NBA Trade Deadline just around the corner on Thursday, March 25, trade talks are gaining steam for the Toronto Raptors.
In the latest report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Raptors are "hurtling toward a roster transformation at Thursday's Trade Deadline" with star guard Kyle Lowry and scoring wing Norman Powell being at the forefront of different deals.
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
"In the final year of his contract, Lowry's chances of leaving Toronto in a trade are gaining traction," Wojnarowski wrote. "Powell's future has become far less about whether he'll be moved, but which among a dozen or so suitors will acquire him."
Both quotes are eye-opening compared to the way trade talks surrounded these players over the past few days, with Toronto taking a clear shift in focus following a nine-game losing streak that has dropped it to 11th place in the Eastern Conference.
Wojnarowski (again) listed the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat as potential suitors for Lowry, but "several more teams in both the Eastern and Western Conferences" have reached out in efforts to see if the Raptors will part ways the six-time All-Star in return for future assets.
MORE: Making sense of Lowry trade rumours | Tracking biggest trade rumours ahead of trade deadline
Lowry is set to turn 35 years old on the day of the trade deadline and will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. While he does not have a no-trade clause on his contract, his contributions as arguably the greatest player in franchise history has led to Toronto's front office "taking Lowry's wishes into consideration," according to Wojnarowski.
As for Powell, the 27-year-old has racked up his trade value during what has been a career-year. He is set for an $11.6 million player option this offseason that he is likely to decline to pursue a bigger contract coming off of the best season of his career, leaving the Raptors in a tough spot of possibly losing him for nothing if he is not delt at the deadline.
Wojnarowksi states that, "The Raptors have a host of ways to go with a Powell trade - a number of combinations of young players, draft picks and expiring contracts - that'll give Toronto optionality."
More updates to follow as we near the Thursday, March 25 trade deadline.
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