NBA Rumors: Analyzing Gossip on Kyle Lowry, Ben McLemore and More

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IApril 4, 2021

NBA Rumors: Analyzing Gossip on Kyle Lowry, Ben McLemore and More

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    A good bit has changed around the NBA over the past two weeks. Some noteworthy deals took place ahead of March 25's trade deadline. After that, several standout players were bought out by their teams and opted to sign free-agent deals elsewhere.

    One player who didn't end up switching teams was Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry. Although the 35-year-old featured in numerous trade rumors, he ended up staying in Toronto, where he's been since the 2012-13 season.

    That doesn't mean Lowry is going to finish his career with the Raptors, though. He's set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and it's possible he could be on the move before the 2021-22 season arrives.

    Here's some of the latest buzz surrounding Lowry, along with more from around the NBA.

Could Lowry Head to Miami This Offseason?

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    The Miami Heat didn't deal for Lowry ahead of the trade deadline despite the fact that they were one of the teams tied to him in rumors leading up to it. But could Lowry still end up heading to Miami before his career is over?

    Bleacher Report's Farbod Esnaashari recently reported that a member of the Heat organization believes the team has a chance to sign Lowry when the offseason arrives. There have been reports that Lowry will want a two-year, $50 million deal, but it may be more than that.

    "Another source had mentioned Lowry's actual asking price was higher than the reported $50 million contract, and closer to $30 million a year," Esnaashari wrote. "They did also agree that Miami had a great chance of signing Lowry in the offseason."

    Lowry, a six-time All-Star and one-time NBA champion, has been a productive player throughout his 15-year NBA career. He's averaging 17 points, 7.3 assists and 5.4 rebounds in 39 games this season, but Toronto is 19-30 and in 11th in the Eastern Conference.

    The Heat are in fifth in the East with a 26-24 record, and if they added Lowry to their already strong core, they could perform even better in 2021-22.

What's Next for McLemore?

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    Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

    Ben McLemore's time with the Houston Rockets appears to be coming to an end. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Rockets are planning to waive McLemore, who has played 103 games for the team since signing with them in July 2019.

    The 28-year-old has proved that he can still be a solid contributor in the NBA this season. He's averaging 7.4 points and 2.1 rebounds in 32 games, and there are already "several contenders" that are "expected to express interest" in McLemore, per Charania.

    After getting selected by the Sacramento Kings with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, McLemore spent his first four seasons in California. He signed with the Memphis Grizzlies ahead of the 2017-18 season, but he was then traded back to the Kings the following offseason.

    McLemore was waived by Sacramento in February 2019 and then signed with Houston after the season. Wherever he ends up next, he could provide that team with strong shooting off the bench, which could be valuable for a team pushing to make the playoffs.

Stephenson Could Be Nearing an NBA Return

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Lance Stephenson last played in an NBA game two years ago Sunday, suiting up for the Los Angeles Lakers in a matchup against the Golden State Warriors. But the 30-year-old's career in the Association may not be over despite that extended absence.

    The Athletic's David Aldridge recently reported that Stephenson "has been working out in New York the last few weeks in hopes of landing with a team." While he hasn't played in a while, perhaps Stephenson could still end up being a valuable role player.

    "Has worked diligently on his range—and you don't forget how to defend like Born Ready can," Aldridge tweeted.

    Stephenson is a nine-year NBA veteran who spent time with the Indiana Pacers, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, Minnesota Timberwolves and Lakers. In his most recent NBA season, Stephenson averaged 7.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in 68 games for the Lakers.