The Philadelphia 76ers are a bit preoccupied with championship aspirations to make their primary focus who they might acquire in the off-season. Philly fans hope their team will be playing for at least another month, as the 2021 NBA Finals are slated for a later-than-usual July tip-off this year.
Still, it’s fun to speculate which big stars will land where this summer.
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One name that has undoubtedly floated through more trade rumors involving the Sixers than any other has been Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry. Ultimately, the March 25 NBA trade deadline came and went, and the big pickup for Philly was George Hill, while Lowry stayed put with the Raptors.
Though we’re still over a month away from the end of the 2020-2021 NBA Playoffs and thus, the off-season, some are playing a guessing game already as to where Lowry will land.
Bleacher Report Thinks Sixers Will ‘Win Kyle Lowry Sweepstakes’
Bleacher Report NBA columnist Zach Buckley laid out a free agency prediction for all 30 NBA teams and feels that depending on how the rest of the playoffs shake out for Philadelphia, they could very well land Lowry.
“The Philadelphia 76ers could go a lot of different directions this offseason. It’s possible what transpires between now and then will dictate their activity,” Buckley writes. “If they win the title, they might run back the same crew to defend their throne. If they’re ousted by the Atlanta Hawks, then everything up to and including a Ben Simmons mega-swap could be on the table.”
The Sixers are knotted up at one game apiece in their Eastern Conference Semifinals series with the Hawks, so still have three more wins to go just to make their first conference finals in 20 years. The Brooklyn Nets hold a 2-0 lead over the Milwaukee Bucks in their series, look unstoppable – even without James Harden – and could be waiting if the Sixers advance through.
Who Would the Sixers Have to Move to Get Lowry?
Nearly three months have passed since the trade deadline and a lot has changed in the NBA. There may not have been many believers in the Hawks over the winter and in the early spring and plenty of folks likely had the Los Angeles Lakers penciled into the Finals.
Lowry didn’t find a new team though and still enters the summer as an unrestricted free agent.
“The wide range of outcomes makes this situation hard to project, but a homecoming for Kyle Lowry has been discussed enough for us to believe it. The Sixers pursued Lowry at the trade deadline, per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer and they plan to give chase again this summer through a sign-and-trade, per The Athletic’s Sam Amick,” Buckley writes. “When the Sixers are full strength, they have almost no weaknesses. But a perimeter shot-creator looms as the one piece missing from the puzzle. Lowry can scratch that itch, add value as an off-ball sniper and hold his own defensively. If he wants to chase championships in his hometown, the Sixers should make it happen.”
Back in March, according to reports, the Raptors were asking the Sixers for defensive stud Matisse Thybulle, rookie Tyrese Maxey, and two first-round picks for Lowry. Thybulle has not only become a fan favorite, but has shown just how valuable he is over the course of the season and playoffs, especially on defense.