Big 3s and super teams are all the rage in today’s NBA as franchises duke it out for the Larry O’Brien trophy. And while the Philadelphia 76ers might argue that Tobias Harris completes their own top trio alongside All-Stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, they could probably benefit from having more high-end talent.
To that end, the team has reportedly been engaged in discussions with the Toronto Raptors regarding six-time All-Star Kyle Lowry.
The Athletic has indicated that Lowry-centric talks are heating up with just hours remaining until the NBA’s 3 p.m. Eastern Time trade deadline on Thursday.
However, if Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey hopes to pry Lowry away from the Raptors — as well as the hard-charging Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers — it could end up costing him more than he ought to part with.
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Raptors Want Two Sixers Prospects, Picks
According to ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst, via NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark, Toronto’s asking price for Lowry, who just turned 35 and will be a free agent after the season, is steep. The Raptors are reportedly seeking Matisse Thybulle, Tyrese Maxey and two first-round picks from Philly.
Thybulle’s inclusion, in and of itself, could be a non-starter for the Sixers. Although his offensive game is still developing, the second-year pro can already be counted among the better perimeter defenders in the NBA.
Since the All-Star break, he is averaging six points, three rebounds, two steals and 1.3 blocks in just 21 minutes per contest. Over that stretch, he has also connected on 54 percent of his field goal attempts and 48 percent of his shots from three-point range.
Meanwhile, the Sixers have allowed just 95.4 points per 100 possessions when he has been on the court.
Thybulle has been a key cog in Philly’s ability to remain atop the Eastern Conference standings despite Embiid’s extended absence. More than that, though, he is seemingly a significant piece of the Sixers’ future.
Significant Outgoing Assets
While Thybulle may be the linchpin to a Lowry deal, the rest of the package is nothing to sneeze at, either.
The Sixers felt fortunate to pick up Maxey with the 21st pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. He may not be a big part of Doc Rivers’ rotation currently, but his potential was on full display earlier this season when contact tracing-induced absences forced him onto the court.
Furthermore, first-round picks (even on the back end) are seemingly more valuable than ever before. Particularly for a team like the Sixers that is doling out massive sums to multiple star players. Rookie-scale contracts can be key in rounding out a roster when finances are tight.
Still, if Morey and his brain trust feel like Lowry could put them over the top in the Sixers’ title pursuits, making a deal could be a no-brainer. Losing both Thybulle and Maxey would be a tough pill to swallow, but the team could bolster its depth by adding a player on the buyout market.
Perhaps even former Sixers sharpshooter JJ Redick.