Sixers Eyeing ‘Big Acquisition’ at Trade Deadline, Raptors All-Star Named

Kyle Lowry Trade

Getty Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors dribbles the ball against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on January 23, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Philadelphia 76ers are probably good enough to get to the NBA Finals right now. Joel Embiid is playing like the MVP of the league, while Tobias Harris has been a revelation. Don’t sleep on the franchise making a blockbuster deal at the trade deadline.

According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, the Sixers are “seeking major moves” to increase their championship odds. President of basketball operations Daryl Morey made a legitimate run at James Harden before he went to the Brooklyn Nets, the team they’ll most likely have to face in the Eastern Conference Finals. Word on the street is, Morey now has his sights set on six-time All-Star guard Kyle Lowry.

The trade market still needs to take shape in the coming weeks, so realistic targets are unclear. But one name to monitor is Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, a 34-year-old Philadelphia native in the final season of his contract. A veteran perimeter shot-creator is the only piece the Sixers truly lack, and there aren’t many other players on Lowry’s level who are even theoretically available.

Lowry, of course, is a Philadelphia native who attended Villanova University where he had his jersey retired so a homecoming makes sense. More importantly, Lowry is an unrestricted free agent after this season after signing a one-year, $30.5 million deal to remain in Toronto last year. The Raptors have been getting meaningful minutes from Terence Davis and Norman Powell with Lowry (thumb) out for three straight games. There have been no overtures about a contract extension.

Tobias Harris Feeling Very Disrespected

The All-Star reserves will be announced on Feb. 23 and Tobias Harris hopes to hear his name called out. If not, the swing forward will hear his obnoxious critics continue to spin the narrative that he’s not part of a Big Three in Philly, that the franchise only has two real stars: Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid.

“You know that s*** pisses me off. I ain’t even gonna lie,” Harris told Sam Amick of The Athletic. “But I also kind of get it, because that’s kind of been me my whole life.”

Harris has been thriving under new head coach Doc Rivers’ mentorship. He’s averaging 20.6 points — the second-highest total of his career — while filling up the stat sheet with 7.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. He did land a $180 million max deal from the Sixers in 2019.

Doc Rivers Coaching All-Star Game

Rivers will coach Team Durant (otherwise known as the Eastern Conference All-Stars) on March 7 by virtue of the Sixers having the best record. However, the All-Star reserve players get voted in by the fans and media, not hand-chosen by the Sixers coach.

That means Simmons and Harris could be on the outside looking in, something that would certainly not sit well with Rivers. He passionately believes both players deserve a spot. Numbers don’t tell the whole story.

“It would be [disheartening if they didn’t make it],” Rivers told reporters on Sunday night, via Sports Illustrated. “I think there is a lot of guys that deserve to make the All-Star team. I think record has to be a factor. I think anybody can get numbers on a bad team — somebody’s gotta score. I think it’s hard to play well on a good team. It’s much harder, and I don’t think enough people give that love.”

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