The Raptors have told point guard Kyle Lowry they’d be open to the possibility of trading him to a preferred destination as long as they can get something of value in return, sources tell Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
According to one of Pompey’s sources, the Raptors want to reward Lowry for his long, decorated tenure with the franchise by giving him an opportunity to win another NBA championship. The Raptors, who have lost several key pieces from their 2019 title team and are just 16-17 so far this season, may not be in position to give him that opportunity themselves.
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Pompey reports that the Sixers, Heat, and Clippers would be among the possible suitors for Lowry if the Raptors make him available. One source tells The Inquirer that Lowry would have interest in playing in his hometown of Philadelphia; that source believes the 76ers and Raptors may be able to get something done.
Lowry is earning $30.5MM this season, so a team that wants to acquire him would have to send out at least $24.32MM in matching salary. Presumably, if the Sixers made a play for the veteran guard, they’d want to keep their veteran core of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris intact, meaning a package may have to start with Danny Green‘s and Mike Scott‘s expiring contracts for matching purposes.
The Heat have a few expiring contracts that could be used for matching. The Raptors would have to be willing to take on some multiyear money in order to make a deal with the Clippers.
Toronto would likely ask for some combination of draft assets and/or young players in exchange for Lowry, a six-time All-Star who continues to make a two-way impact on the court. Pompey suggests that any team acquiring the 34-year-old would probably have to be comfortable with re-signing him when his contract expires this offseason. Sources tell Pompey that Lowry wants to play at least two more seasons and may seek a salary similar to his current $30MM rate this summer.
Despite their sub-.500 record, the Raptors are currently the No. 5 seed in the East. If they hold steady or climb into the top four, they likely won’t be eager to be sellers at the trade deadline. However, they’ve played well even without Lowry in the lineup and could remain competitive if they acquire one or two players who are ready to contribute immediately. Based on Pompey’s report, it sounds like Toronto is open to working with the longtime face of the franchise if he prefers to join a team closer to title contention.