NBA Rumors: 5 Teams That Must Call Rockets About Kyle Lowry If He's Available
“If things aren’t addressed coaching-wise, I guess I have to be moved,” Lowry said.
Last season, Lowry played in just 47 of the lockout-shortened year’s 66 total games. He found himself unable to play due to a plethora of injuries.
In Lowry’s frequent absence, Goran Dragic, who the Rockets acquired along with a first-round pick from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Aaron Brooks, blossomed on the court.
Dragic showed signs of brilliance while in Phoenix. Most notable was his 26-point performance in the playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs (a series the Suns went on to sweep against their long-time rivals). Dragic scored 23 points in the fourth quarter alone to seal the victory for Phoenix.
Some members of the basketball community speculate that Lowry’s reason for wanting out of Houston has more to do with an open competition for the starting job with Dragic than it has to do with any strife between him and McHale.
Regardless of the reason, Lowry could become available this offseason for teams in need of a point guard, especially if the Rockets sign Dragic to a long-term deal.
Here are five teams that need to inquire about Lowry should he become available at some point in the future.
5. Dallas Mavericks
Although Kyle Lowry probably is not on the Dallas Mavericks’ radar at the moment considering Mark Cuban and company will be preoccupied trying to court Deron Williams this summer, they need to address the point guard position moving forward.
Jason Kidd is 39 years old and has an expiring contract this offseason. It’s still a possibility that Kidd could return to Dallas, but he’s not the same player he once was.
If the Mavericks want to make one final championship push with Dirk Nowitzki on the roster, they’ll need to find a way to replace key pieces.
The Mavericks have some interesting trade options via desirable young players Rodrigue Beaubois and Ian Mahinmi. Dallas, however, may not be too keen on trading those players moving forward.
If the Mavericks fail to acquire Williams or create a Steve Nash reunion, they’ll be in the trade market to acquire their next point guard. Lowry would be a good option if they can find the right asking price.
4. Orlando Magic
All things basketball appear pretty bleak at the moment in Orlando. Outside of Ryan Anderson winning the NBA’s Most Improved Player award for his efforts last season, there aren’t many positives.
The Magic have since fired head coach Stan Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith.
It had been well-established that Howard wanted Van Gundy fired, so if there’s truth to those talks, Howard got his wish.
If the Magic have intentions of keeping Howard in town, they’ll need to find a way to improve their team moving forward and an upgrade at point guard would go a long way in that regard.
Howard said last season that he wanted to play alongside Steve Nash, so he’s already shown a lack of confidence in Jameer Nelson leading the charge.
Outside of Howard and Anderson (if they choose to re-sign him), it’s probably safe to say that anyone else on the Magic’s roster is fair game for a trade. However, like the Suns, the Magic would probably have to give up draft picks to acquire Lowry.
It’s a long shot, but if the Magic have any hope of keeping Howard in Orlando they’ll need to bring in some upgrades.
3. Phoenix Suns
It’s no secret that the Phoenix Suns’ floor general and face of the franchise, Steve Nash, could be leaving town this summer to join forces with a contender in hopes of chasing a championship.
If that comes to fruition, the Suns organization will be in the market for a new point guard.
The Suns could target restricted free agent Aaron Brooks after his stint in China, but Lowry is a year younger and a better defender.
One aspect keeping the Suns from acquiring Lowry is their lack of trade assets. At best, the Suns could send a solid role player like Jared Dudley or Channing Frye in addition to a draft pick in return, but Houston would likely have a higher asking price.
Also, if Nash leaves Phoenix, the Suns will be in a complete rebuilding phase. That will likely mean that they’ll want to hang onto all of their draft picks moving forward.
Lowry to the Suns makes sense, but not when you factor in what Phoenix would have to do to acquire his services.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
At first, Los Angeles Lakers fans were enamored with new addition Ramon Sessions. While Sessions certainly played solid basketball for the Lakers during the regular season, you have to remember that he was being compared to two stiffs—Derek Fisher and Steve Blake.
Sessions showed during the postseason exactly why he’s played for four different teams in five NBA seasons.
His postseason numbers dropped nearly across the board compared to his regular season stats. His field goal percentage dipped from 42.8 percent to 37.7 percent and his three-point shooting plummeted from 44.3 percent to 16 percent. He put up fewer points, rebounds, assists and steals per game despite playing more minutes in the postseason compared to the regular season.
After laying an egg in the playoffs, rumors have already begun that the Lakers could look to acquire Lowry.
The Rockets were already denied the opportunity to add Pau Gasol during the season, so maybe they could convince a third party to get in on the trade talks to help stir up the pot. If Houston manages to do so, they could convince the Lakers to trade Gasol (again) and finally get their man.
1. Toronto Raptors
As far as the rumor mill is concerned, the Toronto Raptors appear to be the at the top of the slagheap for potential landing spots.
According to the Toronto Sun, Lowry has impressed a number of people within the Raptors organization, but it’s who he’s impressing that has been the biggest indicator of Toronto’s interest.
Raptors head coach Dwane Casey reportedly loves the way Lowry plays and feels that he fits his offensive system.
Additionally, Alvin Williams, a long-time Raptor-turned-scout for the organization, has a very close bond with Lowry.
Jose Calderon is entering the final year of his contract and Jerryd Bayless is set to be a free agent this summer. If the Raptors are looking for a new point guard moving forward, they’ve certainly shown interest in having Lowry be that guy.