NBA trade deadline day is finally here as 12 p.m. PT on Thursday marks the final time teams can make trades this season in hopes of improving their rosters for a championship run.
While it was originally looking like it would be a slow deadline, that is no longer the case with a number of quality players expected to be dealt on Thursday. Perhaps the best player available is Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, who will have no shortage of teams interested.
In what was a bit of a surprise, the Los Angeles Lakers joined the Lowry sweepstakes on Wednesday as it was reported that they could not be ruled out in talks with Toronto. While the Lakers’ current roster is good enough to compete for a championship, health has been an issue with both LeBron James and Anthony Davis dealing with injuries.
Lowry would be able to help the Lakers and both the short-team and long-term of this season, making him a solid fit if the Lakers are able to pull off a deal. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the are one of three teams that remain engaged with the Raptors leading up to the deadline:
The Lakers, Sixers and Heat are seriously engaged in talks with the Raptors regarding Kyle Lowry.
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) March 25, 2021
If the Lakers are gonna pull off a Lowry trade, it won’t come cheap, especially considering he has other suitors in the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat.
Since the Lakers are so close to the hard cap, they will have to match Lowry’s full $30 million salary to complete a deal. To do that, L.A. would likely have to include both of their starting guards in Dennis Schroder and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, or perhaps sixth man Montrezl Harrell.
While those are quality players, none likely move the needle for the Raptors as they are said to be looking for young players or draft picks. Considering the Lakers lack the latter after trading away a number of their picks for Davis, L.A.’s only young asset in Talen Horton-Tucker would likely have to be included in the trade for the offer to be competitive.
Tough decisions ahead for Pelinka
It’s no secret that the Lakers are high on both Horton-Tucker and Schroder, but with both set to hit free agency this offseason, Rob Pelinka has a tough decision ahead.
There is no doubt that both Horton-Tucker and Schroder are better long-term options for L.A. considering how young they are compared to the 35-year-old Lowry.
If L.A. wants to maximize its current championship window right now though, then there’s no better way to do that then acquiring a six-time All-Star who has proven to be a championship player as recently as 2019.
Lowry is also set to become a free agent this offseason though, so an extension could be a possibility for any team he gets traded to.
With only a few hours left until the deadline, things could get crazy in Laker Land as they have also been linked to a number of other players such as Andre Drummond, LaMarcus Aldridge and more.
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