Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry hasn’t been mentioned in NBA trade rumors as often as his backcourt partner DeMar DeRozan has in recent weeks. But with the Raptors looking to regroup for the 2018-19 season and make up for their recent playoff failures, Metro US believes that it wouldn’t be farfetched for Philadelphia native Lowry to return to his hometown and play for the 76ers.
Although it hasn’t explicitly been stated that the Raptors are actively shopping Lowry around following their Eastern Conference semifinal loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Metro US explained why trading the 32-year-old star guard to the 76ers would be a good move. Prior to the 2017-18 NBA season, last year’s first-overall draft pick, Markelle Fultz, was expected to make a big impact for Philadelphia, but instead found himself sidelined for most of the season, and was mostly inconsistent during those rare times when he was healthy enough to play. If the Raptors were to trade Kyle Lowry to the Sixers, Metro US opined that the former Villanova standout could team up with Ben Simmons to give the team a strong two-point guard setup, much like the Houston Rockets with Chris Paul and James Harden.
With the Toronto Raptors reportedly likely to trade DeMar DeRozan this summer, Metro US speculated that trading Lowry could be another way in which the team, behind president Masai Ujiri, is hitting “reset” after years of postseason futility. As the Sixers are expected to be a top potential destination for the point guard, the publication suggested that Philadelphia send Fultz, veteran forward Robert Covington, and the team’s 10th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft to Toronto, in exchange for Lowry.
Although Covington has a rather bloated contract where he will be earning $16.6 million in the 2018-19 season, Metro US noted that it might not be too hard to dump his contract, as it is now commonplace for rebuilding teams to plan for the future and take on “bad” contracts that would free up tons of cap space once they expire. This is similar to how the Brooklyn Nets had no problem shouldering the bloated contracts of players such as Timofey Mozgov, DeMarre Carroll, and Allen Crabbe, all of whom joined the team for the 2017-18 NBA season.
Trade rumors or none, Kyle Lowry is coming off a down year where he averaged 16.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 6.9 assists and shot just 42.7 percent from the field for the Raptors, one year after recording a career-best 22.4 points and 7.0 assists per game, per his Basketball Reference player page. Despite the steep statistical decline, the 12-year NBA veteran still played in his fourth straight All-Star game earlier this year, where he suited up alongside Raptors backcourt mate DeRozan on Stephen Curry’s handpicked team.