The Sixers are in the market for a big-time addition with one player specifically linked to the team, but are they the right player?
After going 2-4 in their last six games, the team has slowed down since their red-hot start. The deadline shopping list is beginning to add up as the supporting cast has proven to have holes in recent games.
Lowry is a familiar face in Philadelphia. He was born and raised in the city and attended Cardinal Dougherty High School, where he became a 5-star recruit.
Lowry attended Villanova, where he had an accomplished career and even had his number retired. While the Philly ties may run deep, this is not a reunion that would benefit the Sixers at this time.
Sure there is plenty to like what Lowry would bring to the team. He carries himself with a championship-level toughness and would provide the point guard depth the Sixers need.
However, due to the cost to acquire him and the fit issues that Lowry also brings, these assets could be better used to bring in some smaller names to solve the bench issues.
The Price is Not Right
To start with, Kyle Lowry is in the final year of his $30.5 million per year contract. The Sixers must send back roughly $24 million, bare minimum, to match Lowry’s salary.
According to CBA Breakdown, the rule is as follows:
“If a team’s post-trade team salary would exceed the tax level, then a traded player may be replaced in the same transaction by one or more players whose salaries together do not exceed 125% of the pre-trade salary of the traded player plus $100,000.”
Given the monetary restrictions, the Sixers could trade Lowry straight-up for Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, or Tobias Harris. They all should be firmly off the table as each member of, as Daryl Morey refers to them, the Holy Trinity, is simply a better basketball player than Lowry.
Embiid, Simmons, and Harris have also just recently begun to gel as a unit, pulling the plug on that without seeing what it develops into would be a major mistake.
The other option is for the Sixers to stack salaries to facilitate the trade. This would require them to trade Danny Green, who is the next highest contract on the team ($15 mil), along with Mike Scott, Terrance Ferguson, and a younger player such as Tyrese Maxey or Matisse Thybulle.
The other option would be to load up on picks and throw in more dead money, such as Vincent Poirier (no offense). This trade would most likely require 2 first-round picks to get the deal done.
In total, a swap of Danny Green, Mike Scott, Terrance Ferguson, and 2 first-round picks is still a large price to pay for a 34-year-old who will be a free agent at the end of the season.
Should Sixers Pull Trigger?
If the Sixers choose to empty out the bottom of their bench to add Lowry, they will become heavily reliant on the buy-out market to find the other missing pieces.
This trade would be successful in solving the need for a veteran point guard. But it would also further weaken the power forward position by trading away Mike Scott, and this is already a major need for the Sixers.
Losing Danny Green could also serve to be problematic to the team. He certainly has lost a step and has been frustrating in recent performances, but Green still provides value to the team. Even when he is not making shots, Green carries a gravity that discourages defense from doubling down on Joel Embiid.
Kyle Lowry is far from a floor spacer as he has a career 36.7% 3-point percentage on under 3 shot attempts per game. While Lowry may be an improvement over Green purely on basketball ability, he is downgraded from a fit perspective.
In addition to the young talent that they will need to give up, this factor makes it too steep of a price to pay.
The hunt to upgrade the Sixers’ overall roster must continue, but Kyle Lowry is not the solution. Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris have already established themselves as the 3 stars of this team.
With all three of them 28 years or younger, it is essential to find a supporting cast to maximize their primes. The Sixers have worked so hard to build a roster to do this thus far, and there is no reason to change this tune for the sake of making a splash.