The Los Angeles Lakers struck out on landing Kyle Lowry at the trade deadline, but the team could make a run at the Raptors point guard in free agency. The Athletic’s Eric Koreen believes the Lakers, Sixers and Heat will all explore signing the six-time All-Star as the three teams failed to make a deal for Lowry in March.
“Expect all three teams that kicked the tires on Lowry at the trade deadline to explore his availability once more,” Koreen noted. “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.”
The challenge for the Lakers is they no longer have Dennis Schroder’s contract to offer in a potential sign-and-trade as the team’s point guard is also a free agent. The Lakers do not have the cap space to sign Lowry outright and would have to pull off a sign-and-trade to have a chance at landing the point guard. This is much more challenging with nine Lakers players hitting free agency.
The Lakers Were Unwilling to Trade Horton-Tucker in a Deal for Lowry
The Athletic’s Jovan Buha and Bill Oram reported the Lakers’ resistance to include Talen Horton-Tucker prevented Los Angeles from acquiring Lowry. After the Lakers’ first-round postseason exit, the non-trade has been frequently revisited and the front office received criticism for not making the deal happen.
“I’ve said it a bunch: OBVIOUSLY this is a different series for the Lakers if AD doesn’t get hurt,” ESPN’s Rachel Nichols tweeted on June 4th. “That’s a given. But *with* AD hurt, I would have liked to see this team with Lowry as an option to help carry them through this round.”
Horton-Tucker will be a restricted free agent this offseason meaning the Lakers have an opportunity to match any offer he receives. The Lakers are expected to be aggressive in their attempts to retain Horton-Tucker.
Lowry on Free Agency: ‘Money Talks & Years Talk’
Lowry averaged 17.2 points, 7.3 assists and 5.4 rebounds while shooting 39.6% from behind the three-point line in 46 games this season. He discussed what he will be looking for when he signs his next deal this offseason. The veteran point guard mentioned money, his family and chances to win another title as key factors in his decision.
“To be honest with you, my family will be a major factor in this,” Lowry said, per The Athletic. “And also, money talks, and years talk, and all that stuff. Let’s be real. I play this game for the love of the game but at the end of the day, I want to make sure my family is still taken care of for generations and the time to come. Even though they are now, I wanna continue to be able to do that for my family, and when I pass away, my family (is taken care of). …I don’t want to finish my career, I want more championships, that’s always been the goal. Yeah, the money comes with that and you’ll get paid, but championships are a big key to why I play this game.”
Lowry represents a long-shot point guard option for the Lakers if they opt not to re-sign Schroder. The Lakers clearly need more help for LeBron James and Anthony Davis but it remains to be seen how they will be able to navigate a challenging offseason.