The Athletic's Sam Amick and John Hollinger reported Wednesday the Sixers "still plan on pursuing" Toronto Raptors star Kyle Lowry in a potential sign-and-trade after having failed to get him prior to the trade deadline.
Philadelphia is limited for the next few years in how it can improve because of the contracts of Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Together, they will account for more than $100 million in 2021-22.
Assuming Lowry isn't willing to take a massive pay cut from his $30 million salary this season, the Sixers front office will have to get creative to make the money work. Amick and Hollinger spoke to a general manager who said Lowry's market this offseason should be "really good" because of the dearth of options at the top of the free-agent class.
George Hill would be an obvious player for Philly to include in any sign-and-trade since only $1.3 million of the $10 million he's owed next season is guaranteed.
Lowry is continuing to play at a high level. The 35-year-old is averaging 16.7 points, 7.3 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game while shooting 38.3 percent from beyond the arc.
The Sixers have looked like a different team under new head coach Doc Rivers and sit second in the Eastern Conference at 40-21. All that work could be undone, though, if they suffer another embarrassing playoff exit after they were swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round last year.
While Ben Simmons was out with a knee injury, the absence of another player who could not only facilitate the offense but also create their own shots was glaring. This postseason will show whether that problem remains, and Lowry would be a great fit if so.