After losing LeBron James for a month or maybe more, you can add the Los Angeles Lakers to the growing list of teams that would love to acquire Kyle Lowry in a trade with the Toronto Raptors.
Lowry turns 35-years old on the same day as the trade deadline later this week. He averages 17.7 points, 7.4 assists, and 5.6 rebounds this season with the Toronto Raptors. He’s shooting a smidge below 40% from 3-point range.
The Raptors are stuck in a rut with a seven-game losing streak, but face the Houston Rockets – riding a 20-game losing streak – for a chance to get off the schneid. The Raptors haven’t won a game in the second half of the season, and have tumbled out of playoff contention.
In a top-heavy Eastern Conference, the Raptors are ranked #11. They’re chasing the New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets for playoff spots, and both teams are vulnerable. The Knicks are well … the Knicks … and could implode at any moment. The Hornets took a major bad beat this weekend when rookie LaMelo Ball fractured his wrist. With Ball out for the rest of the season, their playoff run might be dunzo.
The Raptors must decide whether to keep Lowry and make a push for the playoffs. Or, will they punt on the postseason and trade Lowry to a title contender like the Lakers, Clippers, Heat, or 76ers.
Raptors: Trade or Keep?
Before LeBron injured his ankle over the weekend, there were numerous rumors blowing up on Twitter that the LA Clippers, Miami Heat, and Philadelphia 76ers were all interested in snagging Lowry in a trade with the Raptors. The big problem is that the Raptors can’t make up their mind about Lowry. They’ll have to make a decision soon with the NBA trade deadline rapidly approaching on March 25.
The Raptors and Lowry have a long-standing and strong relationship. They don’t want to cut him loose as a business decision. At the same time, the organization respects Lowry and wants to help him find the best possible place to finish out his current contract.
Many outsiders think the Raptors that won the 2019 NBA Championship were Kawhi Leonard’s team. The Raptors were always Lowry’s team, as he’s the genuine heart and soul of the squad. It’s just that Kawhi helped put them over the top and carried the Raptors at many moments during their championship run, so Kawhi gets most of the credit. Kawhi didn’t even consider returning to Toronto for a shot at defending his title. He jumped ship as soon as he had a chance and signed with the LA Clippers.
East Lowry: Hometown Philly or South Beach?
Four title contenders hope that Lowry could be the veteran scorer and playmaker who will help them win a championship. In the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers showed a deep interest in Lowry.
Philadelphia has the inside track because Lowry is a born and bred Philly kid. He was a high school standout in Philly, then even stayed in his hometown to play college ball with the Villanova Wildcats.
The Miami Heat made a run before the All-Star break, but they recently lost three games in a row, and were passed by the smoking-hot Atlanta Hawks. The Heat need another reliable scorer with postseason experience to help out Jimmy Butler.
Other shooters, such as Alec Burks from the New York Knicks and Buddy Hield from the Sacramento Kings, were also mentioned in trade rumors with both the 76ers and Heat.
Clippers Need a Third-Wheel: Lowry or Westbrook?
Last week, the big rumor swirling around Tinsel Town indicated that the LA Clippers were close to landing Russell Westbrook in a trade with the Washington Wizards. A few weeks earlier, the Clippers and Lowry were mentioned in trade rumors.
The Clippers make sense as a trade potential destination for Lowry because he already has history with Kawhi Leonard when they won the 2019 NBA championship two seasons ago. The two played well together and complimented each other’s game.
“Kyle, I love him like a brother,” Kawhi said when asked about Lowry trade rumors.
The Clippers need a third scoring option with Lou Williams having an off season. Mr. Sixth Man hasn’t looked like his old self.
Paul George and Leonard get along great together like peas and carrots. But the Clippers are worried that George could disappear in the playoffs like he did last season. Lowry has a proven track record in the postseason.
New Lakers Big 3: LeBron, Lowry, and Davis?
The Lakers considered adding a big man and center like Mo Bamba to help fill in for Anthony Davis. No one knows when Davis will return from a calf injury. Fans suspect AD is hurt more than the team lets on.
LeBron blew out his ankle against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday. The Lakers are in deep trouble and desperately need a scorer like Lowry. But will the Raptors trade Lowry to the Lakers? And if they do, will the Lakers say good-bye to Kyle Kuzma?
LeBron will be out at least four to six weeks. The Western Conference is super deep this year, but a few weeks without their top two All-Stars, and the Lakers could sink to the back of the playoff pack.
The Lakers (28-15) sit in the #3 seed, while the Clippers (27-16) trail by a single game in the #4 hole.
With LeBron out for an undetermined amount of time, the Lakers are no longer the consensus betting favorite to win the 2021 NBA Championship. The Brooklyn Nets are now the favorite ahead of the Lakers.
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