The Los Angeles Lakers are desperate to pair a second star alongside LeBron James, and they’ll explore other options in the event that their bumbling pursuit of Anthony Davis falls through.
One potential target would be trading for Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, who will be entering the final year of his three-year, $90-million contract next season, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.
Deveney notes that Lowry may become available if Kawhi Leonard were to leave in free agency, and that the Lakers could potentially secure Lowry without surrendering as many valuable assets as it would for a younger star.
Lowry would make sense on several fronts for the Lakers. In terms of ability, Lowry’s team-first mentality would fit perfectly on a roster full of scorers. Lowry’s playmaking would create easier shots for the likes of LeBron James and Kyle Kuzma, and Lowry is also happy to play off the ball as a floor spacer. Lowry would even give the Lakers a much-needed boost on defense, as the veteran guard remains quick with his hands and routinely is among the league leaders in charges.
It would also make sense financially. The 33-year-old Lowry is entering into the last year of his contract, which would allow the Lakers to roll over their cap room to 2020 if they strike out on their free agency targets this summer. In the meantime, Lowry would at least help the Lakers be more competitive in the immediate future, as Lowry has led the Raptors to six-straight playoff appearances.
Having said that, it’s no guarantee the Raptors would even want to part with Lowry. If Leonard were to stay, there would be no point in flipping Lowry for prospects as it would only make the team less competitive in the short run. And even if Leonard walked, the Raptors may want to retain their franchise cornerstone to oversee the transition.
However, if the Raptors did decide on a full-scale rebuild, flipping Lowry for a younger player would make sense. The Lakers own all their first-round picks moving forward, and have a host of promising pieces such as Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart.
Lowry averaged 14.2 points, 8.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 65 appearances with the Raptors this season.
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