One of the surprises of the 2021 NBA trade deadline — beyond teams like the Orlando Magic completely tearing it down — was that the Los Angeles Lakers were legitimately in the running to acquire All-Star Kyle Lowry from the Toronto Raptors. Vying for Lowry’s services came down to a bidding war between the Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat.
The Raptors reportedly wanted Tyler Herro from the Heat and Talen Horton-Tucker from the Lakers. However, when neither team would budge, Lowry stayed in Toronto. Now, he is an unrestricted free agent and can be courted by any team that believes they can get him.
The Lakers, 76ers and Heat could once again be tied to the Raptors’ All-Star, according to recent reports from Eric Koreen of The Athletic:
Expect all three teams that kicked the tires on Lowry at the trade deadline to explore his availability once more. The Heat have the clearest path to acquiring him, while the Lakers’ contracts that they could move in a sign-and-trade are not overly desirable, although there is likely a deal to work out if both Lowry and the Lakers are deeply interested.
If the Heat are serious about Lowry, they can get him fairly easily. If they play their cards right with regard to team options and non-guaranteed deals, they could realistically have as much as $33 million in cap space. The rumor during the trade deadline was that Lowry was seeking a two-year, $50 million contract, meaning the Heat could sign him outright.
The Lakers, on the other hand, will need to get creative. They could cut ties with all 10 of their free agents and still be $1.7 million over the salary cap. Because of this, the only way the Lakers could acquire Lowry is via a sign-and-trade.
They could do this by dealing some combination of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, Dennis Schroder and others. If they include Schroder, it would be a double sign-and-trade, so he would have to approve as well.
There are clearly a number of moving parts and roadblocks when it comes to Lowry being on the Lakers. However, there is no denying his fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. If L.A. senses real interest from Lowry’s camp, then they would — and should — do just about anything to acquire him, short of dealing their superstars.
Lamar Odom says Lakers need another guy
Former Lakers Sixth Man of the Year Lamar Odom gave his thoughts on the current roster construction of the team. He said that not only was he hurt watching them struggle with injury, he also felt it was abundantly clear that the Lakers need another high-caliber player alongside James and Davis.
Perhaps Lowry could be that guy. If he is, the Lakers would certainly find themselves right back in playoff contention, especially after a full offseason of rest.
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