NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Kyle Lowry Sign-and-Trade, 76ers, Mikal BridgesMay 1, 2021
This is largely a dormant period in the NBA rumor mill, with the deadline long past and the regular season grinding to a close.
Nevertheless, there are still a few notable names making the rounds heading into the season's home stretch. Here's a quick look at a couple rumors from around the NBA.
Sixers to Pursue Kyle Lowry via Sign-and-Trade
It's no secret that the Philadelphia 76ers made a hard push for Kyle Lowry ahead of the 2021 trade deadline. Turns out they haven't given up on bringing Lowry back to his hometown.
Sam Amick of The Athletic reported the Sixers plan to pursue a sign-and-trade for Lowry this offseason. Lowry is expected to be among the top free agents in the 2021 class, and it's looking increasingly like his tenure in Toronto is coming to an end.
While there is a natural basketball fit for Lowry in Philadelphia, the finances could be difficult to work. Any team that acquires a player in a sign-and-trade is required to stay below the luxury tax apron. The Sixers already have roughly $100.6 million tied up in Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris.
Adding Lowry would come at the expense of a significant portion of the Sixers' depth, with the Raptors almost certainly unwilling to work with Philly without Mattisse Tybullle and/or Tyrese Maxey being involved; Seth Curry would likely be needed for financial purposes. Assuming Lowry would want a deal that averages $20-25 million per season, the Sixers would be unable to replenish their roster with anything but minimum contracts for bench players.
A deal would become more feasible if the NBA's revenue comes in higher than projected and raises the tax apron. However, the sign-and-trade route to acquiring Lowry may make matters too complicated to pull off.
Mikal Bridges to Get $20 Million Per Year
The Phoenix Suns are one of the NBA's most pleasant success stories this season, but the good times are going to come with a cost.
Mikal Bridges and DeAndre Ayton are eligible for their rookie extensions this summer, and they're not going to come cheap. ESPN's Zach Lowe reported Ayton will likely push for a maximum contract, while Bridges' contract could approach the $20 million-per-season mark.
Bridges has emerged as a vital two-way force for the Suns this season, averaging 13.1 points and 4.4 rebounds while providing four-position versatility on defense. He's the exact type of switchable defender and floor spacer that teams covet in the modern NBA.
It's arguably fair to say Bridges is a more important part of the Suns' long-term future than Ayton, who hasn't lived up to his billing as a No. 1 overall pick.
A four-year, $80 million extension would likely look like a steal from the Suns perspective by the end of the contract.