DALLAS - In advance of free agency, it's clear the Dallas Mavericks will be prioritizing the addition of a secondary ball handler to pair with Luka Doncic. Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors is a name that has been increasingly linked to the Mavs.
According to Matt Moore of Action Network, reported the Pelicans are 'in pursuit' of Kyle Lowry and used this trade to dump the necessary salary to have room for a potential signing. The Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks are also 'serious suitors.'
Then on Monday, the Pelicans traded Eric Bledsoe and Steven Adams along with the 10th pick to Memphis to clear cap space, presumably in pursuit of Lowry.
Add two more serious suitors to the Lowry list: the Knicks and the Mavericks.
Moore also reported that Dallas is thought to be pursuing a two-year deal for Lowry while the Knicks a considering a massive one-year offer. Regardless, it will take a lot of money to land him.
The Knicks are considering a one-year deal that would trump, the thinking goes, a multi-team offer in single-year salary. The Mavericks are thought to be pursuing a two-year deal for Lowry.
There’s always room for Lowry to change his mind, but the thought process right now is that you need to be willing to put serious money in front of him to gain his services.
On Sunday, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported a list of teams who are expected to be 'top suitors' for Lowry, which included the 76ers, Lakers, Mavericks, Pelicans, and Heat. So, that's quite a bit of traction for the idea of Dallas making a run at Lowry.
As first reported by Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported back in March that Lowry wants at least a two-year deal worth $25M per season for his next contract. Even at 35-years-old, there will be a competitive market for his services.
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In order for a potential sign-and-trade to be possible, the Mavericks would need to be willing to offer a three-year deal. It would not be legal otherwise. Now, this could feature a heavily non-guaranteed final-year, but would Lowry accept that over a different three-year deal where that wasn't the case? That, of course, remains to be seen.
If the Mavericks were to try to sign Lowry outright just using cap space, it would require them to renounce cap holds, including that of Tim Hardaway Jr., or moving him in a sign-and-trade where there is a net positive impact on the salary cap.
Now, if the Mavericks were to try to retain Hardaway Jr., the situation would become a bit more complicated. It would almost surely require the pursuit of a three-year deal for Lowry and a sign-and-trade to dump some salary cap obligations to clear the needed room.
The Knicks face a potentially precarious situation when it comes to the point guard market. They are an attractive market for disgruntled stars to want to end up in when forcing a trade. As previously reported, Damian Lillard, for example, would welcome landing in New York if he were to be dealt.
Could an attempt by the Knicks to the swing for the fences displace them from getting a deal done with a lesser name like Lowry? That's something the Mavericks will need to look to capitalize if New York is truly prioritizing such a move.
The Pelicans face a situation where they are not going to be in the running for a major star and now have substantial financial wiggle room. I It seems what needs to be watched is if New Orleans comes out of the gate with a massive three-year offer with the final-year being heavily guaranteed.
It's reasonable to have some hesitancy to the idea of signing Kyle Lowry to such a large contract given he will be 38-years-old by the final year of a three-year contract. However, the Mavericks will need to be willing to overpay to bring an intriguing talent to Dallas.