At the beginning of the season, the Toronto Raptors trading Kyle Lowry looked like a foregone conclusion. The team was 2-8, and Lowry is a pending free agent. Trading him could’ve helped Toronto lean into a rebuild. Since that poor start, however, Toronto has won 14 of their last 21 games, becoming the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference along the way.
While their recent success has helped extinguish a lot of the Lowry trade buzz, the Philadelphia 76ers, still the top seed in the East despite their loss against Toronto last night, are in the market for some more scoring and veteran leadership.
With Lowry having listed his Toronto house, it’s not unreasonable to connect the dots and assume he is thinking about returning to the States. Getting trading to Philadelphia remains a very real possibility, according to the latest reports.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor claims that the 76ers are still interested in Lowry, who was born and raised in Philadelphia and became a star in college at Villanova. With Philly in need of another backcourt player that can shoot at a better clip than Ben Simmons, trading Lowry could give the Raptors a handful of players and picks.
Kyle Lowry could net the Toronto Raptors plenty of assets
Lowry is averaging 17.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game, all the while shooting 45 percent from the field and 39 percent from 3-point range. Once again, Lowry is playing at an All-Star level, even if the amount of talent in the East will likely prevent him from ending up in Atlanta.
The Raptors trading one of the greatest players in franchise history in the middle of a winning streak might sound odd, but Toronto has proven they can hold their own with Fred VanVleet at point guard. In their last 16 games without Lowry in the lineup, they are an astonishing 16-0. As good as Lowry is and can be, that number is by no means a fluke or insignificant.
With a need for some more backcourt depth, a center that can rebound, and draft picks that can help Toronto in 2021 and beyond, getting rid of Lowry could end up benefitting the Raptors in the short and long-term. Not only will they acquire assets for the future, but the play of VanVleet proves that the point guard position will be in good hands.
As good as the Raptors have been playing of late, it’s reasonable to question if this team is capable of winning a championship. Lowry might decide to leave Toronto in the offseason anyway, so doing this deal could get the Raptors some assets in return while getting Lowry to Philadelphia.