Leading up to the March 25 trade deadline, perhaps the best player available is Toronto Raptors star point guard Kyle Lowry.
Despite being 35 years of age, Lowry is having another strong season, averaging 17.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 7.4 assists while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from 3-point range.
With Lowry being in the last year of his deal and the Raptors’ season going as planned, he is hoping to get to a championship contender, and the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat were among the teams listed as serious suitors as recently as Thursday morning.
Philadelphia then completed a trade for George Hill, taking them out of the mix for Lowry.
The Raptors made it clear that they were looking for young players and/or draft picks, and that has been the holdup for getting a deal done to this point. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Toronto is holding out to get either Talen Horton-Tucker or Tyler Herro:
“The focus now around the league and the Toronto Raptors is the future of Kyle Lowry. The Raptors, I’m told, are seriously engaged with the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat on a trade to move Kyle Lowry out. The Lakers right now, I’m told, are offering a package around Dennis Schroder and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Again, this is subject to moving parts as well. Miami’s offering a package that’s believed to be centered around Duncan Robinson. But the holdup, I’m told, on both teams is the inclusion of Talen Horton-Tucker for the Lakers and Tyler Herro from the Miami Heat. The Raptors clearly want one of those young guards who have bright futures. Talen-Horton Tucker is gonna be a significant player and he’s gonna be up for a contract this summer, a significant contract. So the Raptors are trying to see who’s gonna come up with the best offer. I’m told Kyle Lowry’s preferred spot right now is the Miami Heat.”
This comes as no surprise considering Lowry has been the Raptors’ franchise cornerstone for the last decade and was a big part of them winning their only championship.
With Lowry set to his free agency this offseason though, Toronto will ultimately have to take the best deal offered to them before the deadline passes if they want to avoid potentially losing him for nothing this summer.
The Lakers have been hesitant to part with Horton-Tucker in past trades, as has Pat Riley with Herro, so this could be a case of who blinks first between the two executives. And if neither does, then it could come down to who Toronto values more between Schroder and Robinson.
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