Although the upcoming free agency class isn’t as star-studded as previous seasons, there are a few notable names set to hit the open market.
All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry is near the top of the list of most intriguing available talent. The 35-year-old is expected to explore his options after completing the final year of his deal with the Toronto Raptors.
Despite losing a step, he’s coming off another highly productive campaign, averaging 17.2 points, 7.3 assists, and 5.4 rebounds on 43.6% shooting from the floor and 39.6% from three-point range.
Here are three teams that should make a strong push to land the gritty guard.
Los Angeles Lakers
Dennis Schroder didn’t provide the impact the franchise hoped, especially after his playoff struggles. Los Angeles attempted to acquire Lowry before the trade deadline this past season, but the reluctance to include Talen Horton-Tucker in any offer prevented the move.
The Lakers need another effective ball-handler who can create their own offense, and the 35-year-old fits that billing. However, Los Angeles is limited financially, making the only feasible route to land Lowry extend through a sign-and-trade scenario.
The team may likely need Schroder to be part of any move, while Kyle Kuzma is all but certain to be included as a trade piece. If the Lakers can make it happen, Lowry could be the missing piece to a championship-contending team.
The connection to the 76ers goes much deeper than a need to fortify the backcourt as it would provide Lowry a chance to return to play for his hometown.
Lowry possesses the skill set that would take much of the offensive onus off star big man Joel Embiid’s shoulders. Yes, he’s a much older option compared to Simmons, but there is no concern with his offensive ability.
All those factors considered, the 76ers are likely the frontrunners to land the star guard.
Before the trade deadline this past season, the Heat also made a strong play to acquire Lowry.
However, the team’s reluctance to make Tyler Herro a part of any deal diminished any chance of a trade. The Heat will likely let Victor Oladipo walk in free agency while the front office holds a $19.4 million team option for Goran Dragic next season.
Miami can quickly open up salary-cap space to offer Lowry a significant contract with those two moves alone. Beyond that, the Heat have developed a strong reputation behind their stern culture and commitment toward constant success.
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