Kyle Lowry Rumors: PG to Sign New Raptors Contract or Be Traded to Heat or 76ersMarch 23, 2021
Kyle Lowry could be moved before Thursday's trade deadline, but the Toronto Raptors point guard is searching for a permanent home.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst provided the latest buzz surrounding the pending free agent on The Hoop Collective (21:57):
"Kyle Lowry's free agency is happening right now. The expectation is that Kyle Lowry is going to have a new contract by the end of this week. It's either going to be to stay in Toronto—whether it's signed or an understanding that it's going to happen—it's going to be Miami or it's going to be Philadelphia. Those are the three options."
Lowry has a $30.5 million salary this season before becoming an unrestricted free agent in the summer. Bobby Marks of ESPN clarified the veteran doesn't have a no-trade clause in his contract, but the Raptors will give him control over his future as a face of the franchise.
The 34-year-old is in his ninth season in Toronto, earning six All-Star selections while being a key part of the team's run to the 2019 NBA title.
Things haven't been quite as rosy in 2020-21 with nine straight losses seemingly putting the Raptors out of playoff contention. Lowry remains a valuable piece with averages of 17.6 points, 7.4 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game, but it doesn't make sense to play out his contract in Toronto unless he is staying past this season.
Meanwhile, another team can help shape the 2021 title race by adding an impact player like Lowry.
The Miami Heat haven't reached expectations this year after their run to the NBA finals in 2020, but Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo still represent an imposing tandem heading into the playoffs. Another experienced scorer and leader could be the difference in another deep postseason run.
Windhorst noted the Heat could put together a package that includes Kelly Olynyk and Andre Iguodala to match salaries, plus a young player like Kendrick Nunn, Tyler Herro or Duncan Robinson.
The Philadelphia 76ers would also make a lot of sense on the court, providing the Eastern Conference leaders with another reliable ball-handler to take pressure off Ben Simmons. It would also be a homecoming for Lowry, who is from Philadelphia and played his college ball at Villanova.