After losing Kawhi Leonard in the 2019 NBA free agency, rumors have started to circulate that the Toronto Raptors might consider trading veteran point guard Kyle Lowry and start rebuilding the team around Pascal Siakam. The Raptors may still have enough talents to remain competitive in the Eastern Conference, but without Leonard on their side, most people don’t see them winning their second Larry O’Brien Trophy in the current season. The 2020 trade deadline may have passed with Lowry still on their roster, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the Raptors won’t explore trading him in the offseason.
Lowry may be 34, but he would still be a huge help to teams that want to boost their chances of contending for the NBA championship title. One of the potential landing spots for Lowry this summer is the Denver Nuggets. According to Aaron Rose of Sports Illustrated, the Raptors could trade Lowry and a future first-round pick to the Nuggets in exchange for Jamal Murray.
“Departing with a franchise icon like Lowry wouldn’t be easy for Toronto, but getting a Canadian back in the deal might make it a little bit easier to swallow. At just 23-years-old, Murray is probably not the kind of player Denver would be looking to move. For Toronto, it would come down to their opinion of Murray’s contract. He starts a five-year max contract extension next season worth $170 million, according to Shams Charania. Having Murray and Siakam on max contracts would make it tough to bring in Antetokounmpo, but there’s no guarantee the Greek Freak is coming north.”
Trading Lowry for Murray, even if it would cost them a future first-round pick, would be a no-brainer for the Raptors, especially if they are already determined to make Siakam the new face of the franchise. At 23, Murray perfectly fits the timeline of Siakam, and he would give the Raptors an immediate replacement for Lowry at the starting point guard position. With both Murray and Siakam already performing like All-Stars, the Raptors would undeniably have a bright future in the post-Lowry era.
Meanwhile, though it’s hard to imagine Denver trading Murray for an aging superstar, Lowry would undeniably be an intriguing addition to the Nuggets. Lowry would give the Nuggets an established veteran who has plenty of playoff experience and could perform under intense pressure. Being traded to the Nuggets would also be beneficial for Lowry. Compared to the Raptors, Lowry would have a better chance of winning his second NBA championship title once he teams up with Nikola Jokic in Denver.