In the past 2 years, there have been some major deals for established “stars” (not even necessarily superstars) in exchange for multitudes of young players plus juicy picks and pick swaps. Bradley Beal, with his gaudy 33ppg 5pg 5apg on 59.7 TS%, has been oft-rumored as the next “big” one to be moved.
The Lakers, Clippers, Nets, and Bucks are examples of teams that have gone “all-in,” mortgaging some/all of their future assets for such players. Perhaps that is the price of admission for being a contender these days, and only time will tell what kind of position this will leave them in years down the road. The risks are obvious (see: Nets era post-Billy King). What if the “star” turns out to be merely good, as Jrue Holiday has been this season?
The current going price for stars (not even superstars) in the league is so exorbitant that, from a team-building standpoint, I don’t believe this is the smartest team-building strategy. Instead, teams should go after potential stars, as OKC did with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Indiana did with LeVert/Brogdon/Oladipo, and perhaps aging stars (as Phoenix did with CP3).
Which brings us to Kyle Lowry. Better (or at the very least, potentially better) production than a Beal, at a significantly lower acquisition cost.
This might not be the common fan’s take, but if the goal is winning rather than scoring, Lowry > Beal. Here’s how they stack up by Daily Plus Minus (DPM, by the guys who created DARKO: https://twitter.com/kmedved/status/1355310201990209537?s=21):
4.34 DPM (11th in the league, tied with Steph Curry)
2.80 DPM (26th in the league, just ahead of Kris Middleton)
That’s before you take into consideration Lowry’s excellent fit with Simmons and Embiid on both sides of the ball, and how he would give them a perfect 3rd piece (with apologies to Tobi) to match up against Harden, Durant, and Irving in the playoffs.
A half-season of Lowry plus his Bird rights for Maxey, Green, a lottery-protected first, and filler is something I would do, even as Lowry declines over the next couple of seasons (assuming we can re-sign him) and Maxey improves.
If the Raptors would take Thybulle and an additional lottery-protected first instead of Maxey, then all the better (especially if they were willing to throw in Davis and/or Watanabe). Maxey is a potential star whose 99th percentile outcome is probably something like what Lowry is right now. Embiid and Simmons are in their prime — now is the time to “go for it” without burning up all of your future assets in one fell swoop.
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