Rumor: Is Kyle Lowry Interested In the Philadelphia 76ers?

NBA: NOV 04 Raptors at Lakers
LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 04:Toronto Raptors Guard Kyle Lowry (7) holding his form during warm-ups for the Toronto Raptors vs Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday November 4, 2018 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia 76ers have been linked to Kyle Lowry for a while now. Could the Raptors’ guard prefer a homecoming to Philly?

While the Raptors have not “officially” made Lowry available in trade discussions, the feeling around the league is that he could be had in a trade. The Sixers, meanwhile, are rumored to be interested in making a “major move,” specifically Lowry.

Many have connected the simple dots that Lowry is from Philly, played for Cardinal Dougherty, played for Villanova, so why not play for the Sixers? It would be a storybook homecoming, especially if the Sixers were to win a championship.

As heartwarming as that is, a team should not look to trade assets just so a player can be close to family. Lowry, however, could be more than that for the Sixers.

There are a couple of reasons for the connection beyond Lowry’s hometown. He fills a need on a Sixers team looking for another facilitator. Probably most important of all, though, is that he brings a championship pedigree to the team.

Those are Lowry’s pros. The cons consist of his age, the cost to acquire him, and his contract. Both the size and length (pending FA). Would trading for a player with those negatives even make sense for the Sixers? Possibly.

Does Lowry Prefer the Philadelphia 76ers?

Lowry’s price would likely be steep, at least to begin the negotiation. However, if Lowry were to inform the Raptors that he would prefer the Sixers, well, the team may be willing to take slightly less.

Well, as it would happen, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey has the scoop that Lowry does indeed prefer Philly.

Pompey had this to say in his recent article about Lowry:

“A source said Lowry would like to be in Philly. The source believes the Sixers and Raptors might be able to get something done…”

Now the obvious question is, who is the source? Is it someone in Lowry’s camp? Someone within the Raptors’ organization? Or is it a local connection to Lowry like a family member?

The legitimacy of the source certainly depends on what their tie to Lowry actually is. Pompey is a consummate professional who has been doing this for a while. A source of his is likely to be as trustworthy as anyone else’s.

So assuming Lowry does want to come back home to Philly, could the Sixers make a deal for less?

Would the Raptors Actually Take Less?

As the old magic 8-ball saying goes, “outlook not so good.”

Pompey’s article continued to say

“…But if it comes to that, Toronto would most likely want some picks, young players, and veterans with expiring contracts for Lowry, who’s making $30 million this season.”

To translate, the Raptors would be looking for a package including Danny Green, Mike Scott, Terrence Ferguson, multiple draft picks, and one of Tyrese Maxey, Shake Milton, or Matisse Thybulle.

That’s a pretty mighty hall considering fans would be hoping for a discount. Why such a high price? Well, simply put it’s what the Raptors feel Lowry is worth, and they will not take less than the best offer.

Frankly speaking, as long as Masai Ujiri is in charge, the Raptors will not be making any moves that are not in their best interest.

If any team has shown to value winning above loyalty in recent years, it’s the Toronto Raptors. Clearly, the DeMarr DeRozen trade worked out. It also set a precedent that Ujiri will do what he must for his team to win.

It’s that type of hypercompetitive mentality that has made Ujiri into one of the biggest front office names in basketball. The odds of Ujiri compromising his ideals at this point are none to none.

Is Lowry Coming Home?

At this point, it’s obviously way too early to tell, but it’s not looking promising. Daryl Morey and the Philadelphia 76ers will have a lot to consider going into any potential trade negotiations.

Whether or not it’s an issue of if they could trade for Lowry or if they should, a deal is far from done.

Assuming Pompey’s source is correct, even if Lowry wants to come home, it’s not guaranteed that Toronto will oblige. If the Sixers find a way to acquire Lowry, they’ll have to pay a steep price, and those assets could almost certainly be better utilized.

The Sixers could easily target players like George Hill, Delon Wright, or Lonzo Ball to play a similar role, though less effective.

If Lowry truly wants to come to Philly and somehow, someway, the Sixers can get Ujiri to budge, then they should certainly get a deal done. The price, according to Pompey’s article, however, would be far too much to pay.