At the trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers were close to pulling off a deal with the Toronto Raptors All-Star guard Kyle Lowry. Had the team been willing to give up Talen Horton-Tucker, the deal might have gone through. The Raptors weren’t willing to budge on price and now they’re likely to lose the guard for nothing in free agency.
While many players would jump at the chance to play with LeBron James on the defending champions, Lowry apparently wasn’t too keen on heading to Los Angeles. According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, the guard preferred to play for the Miami Heat, who were also linked to him. With Lowry set to hit free agency in the offseason, O’Connor doesn’t believe the Lakers will have a chance at him:
The Lakers and Sixers, two other teams that were in on Lowry, won’t have cap space. Most teams with Finals hopes and a need for a point guard won’t either. Other than the Heat, only eight teams are projected to have cap space: the Bulls, Cavaliers, Hornets, Knicks, Mavericks, Raptors, Spurs, and Thunder. The Heat likely wouldn’t have all that much competition other than the Raptors.
Even if the Lakers pulled off a trade for Lowry, it would’ve likely been a one-year rental.
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Lakers Better off Not Trading for Lowry
The Lakers’ involvement in the Lowry trade sweepstakes was always kind of surprising. It seemed reactionary to the fact that LeBron and Anthony Davis were injured. However, both should be back eventually. The Raptors reportedly wanted Dennis Schroder, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Talen Horton-Tucker for Lowry, which is simply too much for a 35-year-old guard in a contract year.
Now that it’s clear that Lowry didn’t even want to play in Los Angeles, the Lakers are better off for not making the trade. He’s an awesome player and should have at least one or two years left of solid play. That said, the Lakers already have a good team and were wise not to sell the farm for Lowry.
Lakers May Need to Find New Point Guard in Offseason
For a while, it looked like a contract extension for Schroder was imminent. He said that he wanted to be a Laker long-term and even bought a house in Los Angeles. However, it looks like things have hit a rough patch.
The guard said that he’s going to put off contract negotiations until the offseason. That means that he’ll likely be testing free agency after the season is over. The Lakers will still have a chance to re-sign him but it’s also possible another team swoops in and hands him a massive contract. That’s not really ideal for Los Angeles. At 27-years-old, the hope should be to have Schroder be the point guard of the future. If he walks in free agency, the Lakers will have to address the position once again. Schroder isn’t an irreplaceable talent but he’s been a good fit with the team so far.