Kyle Lowry's time with the Toronto Raptors could come to an end soon. As the 34-year-old approaches the offseason on the final year of his deal, Lowry could be entertaining other teams this upcoming summer.
Or, he could land elsewhere via trade before the deadline next month and go from there. A few weeks ago, all signs began pointing towards a Lowry-Raptors mutual breakup. As Toronto struggled to collect wins, it looked like they were on their way to possibly miss the playoffs for the first time in years.
Typically, when an aging star on a bad team still has gas left in the tank, they look for an opportunity to link up with a contender as they know they will only play for a few more seasons. So, trading Lowry a few weeks ago made sense for the Raptors.
At this point, not so much. At 16-17, the Raptors don't quite look like championship contenders, but they are in the playoff picture. As many believe the Raptors will eventually pull the trigger on a Lowry trade before it's too late, rumors have speculated that the veteran guard would embrace a trade to Philly.
"A source said Lowry would like to be in Philly. The source believes the Sixers and Raptors might be able to get something done. But if it comes to that, Toronto would most likely want some picks, young players, and veterans with expiring contracts for Lowry, who’s making $30 million this season."
As expected, Lowry's reported willingness to play for the 76ers was a big story on Thursday. So big that it caused Lowry's agent Mark Bartelstein to hop on Sirius XM NBA Radio to throw cold water on the hot topic Thursday night.
“That’s just not true,” Bartelstein said. “I got on the phone with Masai (Ujiri, Raptors president) and Bobby (Webster, Raptors GM) and let them know that certainly wasn’t coming from us. The communication’s great (between Lowry and the Raptors)… his focus is on playing for the Raptors and winning and helping his teammates and doing great things the rest of the season.”
To be frank, we should never expect an agent to come outright and say his client wants to be traded. As Lowry is happy in Toronto and very far away from causing a James Harden-like situation with the organization, talks between his reps and the Raptors' front office will remain internal.
And for what it's worth, Tom Moore, a veteran columnist with the Bucks County Courier Times, reported on Thursday night that the Sixers "aren't closer to acquiring former Villanova star Kyle Lowry from the Raptors than they were two weeks ago." Well, two weeks ago, they weren't close at all -- so there's that.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_