The NBA’s March 25 trade deadline is rapidly approaching. One of the top players we could see dealt is Kyle Lowry, who also happens to be the best player the Philadelphia 76ers could realistically target and hope to acquire. There have been plenty of rumors about Lowry in recent weeks, ranging from a trade seeming fairly likely to Lowry is staying put.
We received a few more updates over the weekend, which make it sound like a trade could still happen.
Marc Stein of The New York Times reported that the Raptors trading Lowry is still a possibility, and mentioned the Sixers and Miami Heat as some of the interested teams.
Must add here that the prospect of Toronto trading Kyle Lowry, six times an All-Star, still looms as a possibility as the deadline nears.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 21, 2021
Lowry made it clear he hopes to retire as a Raptor someday, but sources say interest in the free agent-to-be (Philly/Miami/others) persists.
Buzz around the Heat’s interest in Lowry has been increasing recently. On Sunday, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst mentioned on SportsCenter that the Heat “covet” Lowry. Meanwhile, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported in a trade deadline piece that the Heat are currently the most aggressive team in pursuit of Lowry, and that Miami is supposedly his preferred destination:
“League sources say the Heat are pursuing a deal for Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry harder than anyone, though the Clippers and Sixers retain interest.
“Lowry recently said he wants to retire with the Raptors even if he needs to sign a one-day contract. But if he gets dealt, league sources say his preferred destination is Miami because of his close friendship with Jimmy Butler.”
O’Connor added that the Raptors would want “at least” Tyler Herro or Duncan Robinson in any possible trade for Lowry.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Monday that the Sixers and Heat are “leaders” in the trade race to land Lowry:
The Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat are leaders in the pursuit to acquire Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Teams are keeping a close eye on the developing situation, mainly to see which young player or asset the Raptors can pry away from either interested team. The Clippers would also have interest in Lowry but may not possess the necessary combination of contracts and assets to get the deal done, The Athletic’s Sam Amick reports.
Clearly the Sixers are firmly in the mix if Lowry is traded. The Raptors’ incentive to remain as competitive as possible for a playoff push this year might be dwindling, too, as they’ve now lost eight straight games and have slipped to 11th place in the Eastern Conference.
There’s no doubt that Lowry would be a major addition for the Sixers. He’d give them another go-to playmaker besides Ben Simmons, effective complementary scoring, crafty pick-and-roll play, strong guard defense, and quality three-point shooting (he’s shot 38.2 percent from deep on 7.5 attempts per game over the last six seasons). Whether he’s playing more off the ball in the starting lineup, or helping to lead bench units with Tobias Harris, Lowry would do a ton to help the Sixers and remove some of their weaknesses in terms of perimeter creation. The value of Lowry’s playoff/championship experience can’t be overlooked, either.
We’ll see soon enough how active the Sixers are and what they can pull off before the deadline.