The NBA’s February 6 trade deadline is fast approaching, and with that in mind, the Toronto Raptors are reportedly willing to listen to opposing teams’ offers for their core veteran players, namely big men Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, and point guard Kyle Lowry.
Quoting a report from Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, Sportskeeda noted that the Raptors are apparently considering their options when it comes to the three aforementioned veterans, who all played key roles in the team’s NBA championship run in the 2018-19 season. Despite losing superstar Kawhi Leonard to the Los Angeles Clippers in free agency last summer and dealing with injuries to top players such as Gasol and forward Pascal Siakam, Toronto currently ranks third in the Eastern Conference with a 28-14 record, only trailing the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat.
“Some teams believe the Raptors would listen to calls on players like Gasol and Serge Ibaka, both of whom are in the final years of their contracts and, seemingly, not in their long-term plans. There’s also speculation that Kyle Lowry could be had at the right price,” Woike wrote.
No specific trade ideas or rumored packages were mentioned in the Los Angeles Times report, but as The Inquisitr wrote earlier this month, it was recently suggested that the Boston Celtics could trade for Ibaka or Gasol to improve their frontcourt rotation.
As shown on his Basketball-Reference player page, the 34-year-old Gasol’s numbers have noticeably declined in the 2019-20 season, as the former Defensive Player of the Year is now averaging just 7.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 30 games. That, however, has not been the case for Ibaka and Lowry, who have stepped up their contributions on offense following Leonard’s departure. Ibaka has produced 15 points and 8.4 rebounds per contest this season despite mostly coming off the bench, while Lowry has averages of 20.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 7.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.
KYLE LOWRY! HOW?! pic.twitter.com/4gNqXvqpXn
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) January 18, 2020
According to Sportskeeda, the new rumors aren’t surprising, considering how Ibaka and Gasol will become eligible for free agency in the 2020 offseason. While Lowry is set to earn $31 million in the 2020-21 campaign, per the terms of the one-year extension he signed last year, the 33-year-old point guard’s value is expected to decline in the coming months as he continues to age.
“Ultimately, it appears that the Raptors are prepared to move on from the instrumental trio, although any deal will depend on what rival teams are willing to offer in terms of picks and young talent,” the outlet concluded.