The future of Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry is up in the air, but there is still a chance his signs a new contract with the team.
With the Raptors suffering through a nine-game losing streak, earning just one win in their last 12, rumours are bound to swirl ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline.
After winning the NBA Championship in 2019, and a strong follow-up season, the Raptors have found themselves struggling and heading into a period of transition, where some changes to the roster are expected to help make the team more competitive in 2021/22.
One name that is increasingly at the centre of trade rumours is 34-year-old Kyle Lowry, who has been one of the faces of the franchise since being traded north of the border by the Houston Rockets back in 2012.
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Lowry’s one-year contract, which holds a cap hit of $30.5 million, expires this off-season and the question has been raised over the five-time All-Star’s future in Toronto, with the team potentially looking to make big changes to help shape their immediate and long-term future.
The Philadelphia native is still a productive player for the team, averaging 17.6 points, 5.6 rebounds (tied career high) and 7.4 assists per game despite the team slumping to a 17-26 record thanks to their recent losing streak.
He would be the ideal addition to a playoff/championship contender and could see the Raptors receive a solid return in assets, and there are at least two teams that appear interested in his services.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, via Bleacher Report, the Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers are two teams that Lowry could find himself traded to come Thursday.
Windhorst, however, also mentioned that the Toronto Raptors themselves are still a possibility for Lowry’s long-term future, with the chance for a new contract being either signed or at least agreed in principle by the end of the week.
Keeping Lowry around will be a significant morale boost for the Raptors, with his many years of stellar service helping the team to their first-ever championship and being a recognisable star in the league.
His production this season shows that he can continue to be a key part of the team moving forward, with other areas, including further down the depth chart, likely needing to be addressed more urgently.
Losing Lowry would provide the Raptors with the benefit of new faces and assets that could be used to turn the team’s fortunes around quickly, with plenty of solid foundations that can be built around still present.
With Norman Powell expected to be moved by the deadline, the Toronto Raptors could look vastly difference by the weekend if Lowry is also moved, and the storyline will be one to keep a close eye on as time on making a final decision rapidly runs out.