The NBA’s March 25 trade deadline is now less than one week away and the Philadelphia 76ers will likely be exploring their options as it approaches. Although Philly is currently tied for the top spot in the Eastern Conference — and team president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has praised the group’s chemistry — the Sixers could probably benefit from an extra hand in the effort to beat out the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks.
One name that continues to show up in Sixers-related trade musings is that of Toronto Raptors point-man Kyle Lowry, whose days in the Great White North may be nearing an end after he helped his squad win an NBA title in 2019. However, at least one Raptors insider thinks the 34-year-old is staying put.
Nevertheless, fans and pundits alike continue to hypothesize about what a Sixers deal for Lowry might look like. On Thursday, a former league executive proposed his own deal that would send Lowry to his hometown team.
Hollinger Sends Lowry to Philly in Three-Team Deal
The Athletic’s John Hollinger, who formerly served as vice president of basketball operations for the Memphis Grizzlies, fired off eight hypothetical trades that he sees as potential “win-win” maneuvers. Among them was a three-team pact sending Lowry to the Sixers.
Hollinger’s deal shakes out as follows:
- Raptors get Matisse Thybulle, Tony Bradley & Danny Green
- Hornets get Terrance Ferguson
- Sixers get Kyle Lowry
Also — Charlotte sends out a second-round pick to get in on the action, with Philly sending the Hornets New York’s 2021 second-round pick and cash, in addition to Ferguson. Moreover, the Sixers send Toronto their 2021 first-round pick and the better of their own or New York’s 2023 second-round pick.
Finally, Toronto would have to waive two players to make the trade possible.
According to Hollinger, this is the one deal among the myriad he is proposing that “needs” to get done. Not only would it allow Lowry to return to Philly (and a contending team), but, as he sees it, it would allow the Raptors to pick up a solid building block in Thybulle and other useful pieces.
Meanwhile, the Hornets receive assets for helping to facilitate the trade.
Is the Heavy Price Tag Worth It?
Given the level of competition at the top of the Eastern Conference, the Sixers could definitely put a player of Lowry’s caliber to good use. In the long-term, though, it is difficult to determine whether the ride would be worth the price of admission.
In just his second year, Thybulle has looked like one of the league’s better perimeter defenders at times. He continues to lead the league in deflections per 36 minutes (5.8) and in the three games immediately following the All-Star break, he racked up 11 steals.
His three-point shooting has regressed this season, but he has been better since the break, making six of his last 10 attempts from distance.
If he can continue to show out on defense, while establishing himself as a consistent deep threat, he could become one of the better 3-and-D wings in the NBA. And the Sixers would have team control on his contract.
That, in and of itself, may be hard to part with for what could be a half-year rental in Lowry.
The Sixers would also lose a modicum of the depth in the deal, an area in which they already had something of a shortfall. While Joel Embiid’s knee injury looks to be less serious than originally feared, Philly may need a player of Bradley’s ilk in the event that he is out for longer than anticipated.
Finally, Green’s three-point shooting has been valuable for a team that isn’t getting long-range shots up as frequently as their counterparts.
On the other hand, if Morey and Co. feel as though a title is within reach, they should consider doing what is necessary to take that step. And Lowry still has a lot to offer.