The Toronto Raptors have told teams inquiring about point guard Kyle Lowry that the veteran floor general is not available via trade with the March 25 NBA trade deadline rapidly approaching, per TSN's Josh Lewenberg:
"However, according to sources, teams inquiring into Lowry's availability have been told that the Raptors do not intend to move him. You can never say never in the NBA, but as of now it seems likely that the six-time all-star—and arguably the greatest player in the franchise's history—will finish the season with Toronto."
Lowry, a six-time All-Star who helped lead the Raps to the 2018-19 NBA championship, turns 35 on March 25. He has averaged 17.8 points, 7.5 assists and 5.6 rebounds on 43.7 percent shooting this season. The former Villanova star has been to the playoffs each of the past seven years with Toronto. He's also played 15 NBA seasons, starting in 2006 with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Lowry will be a free agent after this season upon the conclusion of his one-year, $30.5 million deal.
It's been a tough season for Toronto, which has played its home games in Tampa, Florida, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 17-23 Raps have lost six straight and eight of their last nine to fall to 11th in the Eastern Conference. A top-10 spot is needed to at least qualify for the new postseason play-in tournament.
Toronto has been shorthanded for much of the year, though. OG Anunoby (17 missed games), Pascal Siakam (nine), Lowry (seven) and Fred VanVleet (five) have all been sidelined for one reason or another this year. Chris Boucher is the only player to have taken part in all 40 of the Raptors' games.
Ultimately, the Raptors are only 4.5 games back of the fourth-place Miami Heat in a top-heavy Eastern Conference, so it's possible the team regroups in the final 32 regular-season contests and goes on a second-half run to make the playoffs.
Keeping Lowry aboard is the best way to make that run, even if a championship this year seems well out of reach given the success of the East's elite in the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks.
For now, the Raps will look to end their losing streak when they host the Utah Jazz in Tampa on Friday.