Since the departure of Kawhi Leonard in this year’s free agency period, rumors have been circulating around All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry and his future with the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors may have handed Lowry a one-year, $31 million contract extension, but most people still see him as one of the top trade candidates before the February trade deadline. According to Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report, one of the teams who should closely monitor Lowry’s situation in Toronto is the Detroit Pistons.
Despite having the formidable frontcourt duo of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond, the Pistons remain as one of the worst teams in the NBA. As of now, the Pistons have lost seven of their last 10 games and are currently sitting in the No. 13 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 5-11 record. If the Pistons are still determined to remain competitive in the current season, targeting another superstar who could complement Griffin and Drummond makes a lot of sense.
As Bailey noted, the potential acquisition of Lowry “could salvage” the Pistons’ disappointing season.
“If things start to look shaky in Toronto, or it becomes more clear that [Fred] VanVleet is ready to be the long-term solution at the 1, moving Lowry might make some sense. He’s exactly the kind of player who could salvage Detroit’s season. He commands far more attention outside than Reggie Jackson or Derrick Rose. He’s a more consistent defender as well. The Blake Griffin-Andre Drummond pairing was always going to be a wonky fit, but a five-time All-Star who can shoot and has championship pedigree could go a long way toward ironing things out.”
Lowry would be an incredible addition to the Pistons, giving them an All-Star-caliber point guard who has championship experience. Though he’s already 33, Lowry remains a very reliable contributor on both ends of the floor. This season, he’s averaging 21.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 1.1 steals while shooting 47.8 percent from the field and 42.6 percent from beyond the arc.
With the years he spent with DeMar DeRozan and Kawhi Leonard in Toronto, Lowry has learned how to excel in an off-ball capacity, making it easier for him to make himself fit alongside a ball-dominant superstar like Griffin in Detroit. When healthy, Lowry could potentially help the Pistons turn things around in the 2019-20 season.
Unfortunately, the question is whether the Raptors really have any plan of making Lowry available on the trade market anytime soon. Unlike the Pistons, Toronto is currently doing well in the current campaign, tied with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat for the No.2 spot in the Eastern Conference. If they deliver more consistent performances, the Raptors may more likely become buyers than sellers before this season’s trade deadline.