Kyle Lowry is an All-Star level point guard with championship experience who can tilt the balance of power among NBA championship contenders if he is traded.
Lowry also makes $30 million this season. The Los Angeles Lakers are bumping up against the hard cap with little room to maneuver. That’s why Los Angeles has not been mentioned as a suitor.
Except Adrian Wojnarowski said, “don’t rule out the Lakers trading for Lowry” during ESPN’s Trade Deadline Show.
That comment turned a lot of heads.
Lowry, paired with LeBron James and Anthony Davis (once both are healthy), makes the Lakers the heavy favorites in the West, and Lowry gives L.A. a bridge until LeBron and Davis get healthy.
It’s also difficult to see how this trade comes together.
In recent days, sources have told NBC Sports it appears the Lakers would entertain trading Dennis Schroder, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, or Montrezl Harrell as part of a game-changing trade. Lowry would be it, and the money works if the Lakers send Schroder, KCP, and their 2027 first-round pick to the Raptors (if unprotected, that pick might have real value). Toronto, however, might rather have Talen Horton-Tucker than the pick (the Lakers have shot down teams that have asked about Horton-Tucker so far).
Lowry also is a free agent this offseason and is looking for a contract in the two-year, $50 million range minimum. The Lakers would have Lowry’s Bird rights and could re-sign him, but that plus the max money for LeBron and Davis, plus Kyle Kuzma making $13 million, sends the Lakers deep into the luxury tax.
This seems a longshot — maybe it’s the kind of thing you leak if you’re Toronto trying to light a fire under Miami to include Tyler Herro in a Lowry trade. Or you leak if you’re the Lakers trying to show a rabid fan base (and some big-name players) that you are trying at the deadline.
The smart money is still on Lowry ending up in Miami or his hometown of Philadelphia.
It’s interesting, and stranger things have happened at the deadline.