Kyle Lowry grew up in Philadelphia. He went to high school in Philadelphia. He played college ball at Villanova, in Philadelphia. He has never, however, played NBA basketball for his hometown Sixers, despite 15 years and playing for three teams in the league.
If ever there were a time for that to change, it is now. The Sixers are 21-10 and fighting off the surging Brooklyn Nets for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, and while they have played well all season, there is no doubt the team could use more firepower.
According to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Lowry wants to come to the Sixers and the Raptors may be willing to allow it, though the Clippers and Heat remain possible Lowry destinations. The cost, according to veteran beat writer Keith Pompey: “some picks, young players, and veterans with expiring contracts for Lowry.”
Pompey also reports that the Raptors, having had Lowry on hand as a loyal soldier since 2012, “want to reward Lowry for his years of service by helping him secure an opportunity to win another NBA title.” Lowry has earned six All-Star berths with the Raptors and helped them win the 2019 NBA championship.
Lowry Cost for Sixers: Four Players, First-Round Pick
So, what would a trade look like for the Sixers?
The expiring contracts would almost certainly have to come from Danny Green and Mike Scott, with Furkan Korkmaz beefing up the salaries needed to match Lowry’s $30 million payout. From there, the next issue is which young player to include—and whether giving up just one would be enough.
But a Lowry deal is likely to cost the Sixers rookie Tyrese Maxey. The Raptors would be expected to ask for Matisse Thybulle or Shake Milton as well, though the Sixers could hold out on putting either in the deal.
The Sixers have all of their own first-round picks in place until 2025, which means they can’t trade a pick in the year before or after. So all first-rounders from 2024-26 are off the table. But the Sixers could offer any of their first-rounders between 2021-23. Because Lowry will turn 35 next month and is in the final year of his contract, he would essentially be a short-term rental. That means the Sixers likely would not give up more than one first-rounder.
It would be a costly deal and the Sixers would be left with two roster spots to fill, but it is well within the realm of possibility.
Sixers Could Need Deal to Keep Pace With Contenders
But there is little doubt that the Sixers likely need to pull off a major move ahead of the March 25 trade deadline if they are serious about winning a championship this season. While the team has been buoyed by the MVP-caliber play of center Joel Embiid and career-best seasons from Tobias Harris and Seth Curry, it needs added offensive punch as well as some playoff experience to deal with teams like the Nets and Lakers.
Brooklyn added James Harden last month, of course, to a core that already included Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. The Nets have won seven straight games. The defending-champ Lakers are struggling without Anthony Davis but will be the favorites in the West once he returns.
Lowry would be the ideal addition to keep up with both of those contenders—he is averaging 18.0 points, 6.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds. He has been excellent as a perimeter shooter, making 39.5% from the arc this season.