When the 2021 NBA trade deadline was hours away, the Philadelphia 76ers were in a tight race to land Kyle Lowry from the Toronto Raptors. Knowing they could use a veteran ball-handler that can stretch the floor and create his own shot in the playoffs, the Sixers were willing to part ways with valuable players and assets for Lowry.
But the Raptors couldn't let go. Many reports indicated Toronto's asking price for Lowry got too high, forcing teams to stop adding to their initial offers. When the deadline officially kicked in, Lowry remained a member of the Raptors.
This offseason, the veteran guard is expected to hit the free agency market, where he'll be the top target for most contending teams. However, Toronto will have the first chance to re-sign him. While it's believed a return to Toronto is unlikely for Lowry, the Raptors could sign and trade the veteran guard. If they're willing to do so, the Sixers are expected to show interest.
But Philly isn't alone. As expected, there are several other teams showing interest in Lowry. Two teams are the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers, as expected. Back when the Sixers were in the race for the Lowry trade sweepstakes back in the spring, the Lakers and the Heat were Philly's direct competition to land Lowry's services.
Now, the New York Knicks and the New Orleans Pelicans have entered the mix. According to Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald, the Sixers, Heat Lakers, Knicks, and the Pelicans are among five key teams showing interest in Lowry.
Whichever team does land him this summer will surely have to break the bank on the 35-year-old North Philly native. According to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Lowry is seeking $90 million over the next three seasons in his new contract.
Considering he's the top point guard available in a market that lacks veteran stars, Lowry will more than likely find a team that will meet his demands. The question now is which team will that be, and how will they make it happen?
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.