The Los Angeles Lakers have been connected to countless players at multiple positions as the March 25 trade deadline, and buyout market shortly after, approaches.
The Lakers primarily have browsed the market for potential upgrades to their shallow frontcourt depth, especially in the midst of a period where Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol haven’t played because of injuries and health and safety protocols. Andre Drummond, the Cleveland Cavaliers big man, has been linked to L.A. for quite some time, and Los Angeles may have an edge over competitors for his signature.
Among point guards, former Laker Isaiah Thomas, who hasn’t played since the 2019-20 season, has also been connected to L.A. for a possible reunion down the road.
But Thomas isn’t the only ball-handling point guard on the Lakers’ radar. According to Adrian Wojnarowski during ESPN’s trade deadline special, the Lakers could be in the mix to acquire Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors:
A team I wouldn’t rule out for Lowry is the Lakers.
On paper, bringing Lowry, who is turning 35 on March 25, to Los Angeles would remarkably boost their chances of repeating and securing the franchise’s 18th championship.
Lowry has been a staple of Toronto basketball since he began playing for them in the 2012-13 season and has also qualified for six consecutive All-Star appearances from 2015 to 2020. Though Toronto has underperformed thus far this season, Lowry is still producing quality numbers: 17.6 points, 7.4 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals on 43.8% field goal shooting and 39.1% from 3-point range.
However, what makes landing Lowry strenuous is his contract. He’s on a one-year deal worth $30 million, so matching salaries is an arduous task, especially for the Lakers.
In order for the Lakers to land Lowry’s services, they’d have to depart with a combination of players to make the salaries work. Los Angeles also has to avoid the hard cap when making a trade for Lowry.
One deal that would work is sending Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, Wesley Matthews and Alfonzo McKinnie in a swap for Lowry. And that excludes any potential picks or the Lakers’ only young asset, Talen Horton-Tucker, who could be needed to sweeten the deal with so many other teams interested in Lowry’s services.
Other players on Los Angeles with low salaries that could work are Alex Caruso, Marc Gasol and Markieff Morris. Dennis Schroder could also be an option for Toronto, although he is also a free agent this offseason and would require a lucrative long-term deal for the Raptors to keep him.
Regardless, the Lakers have to give up a sizeable portion of their roster to make it work.
Vogel confident in current Lakers roster, not expecting big trade deadline moves
In contrast to the Lowry rumors, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is not expecting L.A. to make any significant splashes as the deadline nears.
Vogel recently expressed confidence in the current group.
“The biggest thing is we just have to get healthy. Those conversations are for the front office. My expectation is we’re going to win games with this group. I believe in the group that we have,” Vogel said following the Lakers’ loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.
“If nothing happens, we’re going to win games. We’re going to figure out a way to win games during this stretch and it will benefit us during the long run. I’m not sure if we’ll see any changes or not. Most trade deadline situations there’s been a lot of talks that result in nothing and that’s my expectation as a coach.”
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