Since 2013, the Toronto Raptors missed the playoffs as the twelfth seed with a record of 27-45. With Kyle Lowry entering free agency as an unrestricted free agent, it appears that Lowry could join a new team. For over a decade, Lowry has been a part of the highest and lowest moments in Raptors history. The fact that Lowry could join a different organization next season is baffling but expected.
Lowry is currently 34-years-old and only has a few years left in being an effective option to any NBA organization. While his time in Toronto is essentially over, Lowry will receive many offers from various contenders this off-season. Despite many organizations already expressing interest in Lowry, here are four organizations that will be the most aggressive in signing Kyle Lowry.
New York Knicks
The New York Knicks shocked the basketball world by defying all odds and making the playoffs under Tom Thibodeau and Julius Randle. Entering this season, the Knicks were projected to miss the playoffs and return to the lottery. However, with determination, consistency, and outstanding leadership, the Knicks finished the season with a record of 41-31 as the fourth-seed in the Eastern Conference.
New York has accomplished a lot this season and should celebrate their unexpected return to the playoffs. Even though this team played amazingly, they are only scratching the surface with their potential. Before the playoffs, the Knicks were and still are rumoured to be interested in trading for Damian Lillard this off-season. In order for the Knicks to successfully trade for Lillard, they would have to trade half of their assets.
With Kyle Lowry being an unrestricted free agent, the Knicks have enough cap-space to sign Lowry. Although Lowry is an older option at the point guard position, he will provide elite play-making and championship experience. New York has the cap space to sign Lowry and other rotational players, making them a team to look out for when free agency starts!
During the NBA trade deadline, the Miami Heat were among three organizations trying to aggressively trade for Kyle Lowry. Fortunately for the Heat, no organization successfully traded for Lowry as the Toronto Raptors wanted an unrealistic package for the 34-year-old. However, the Heat have a second chance of acquiring Lowry as they can sign him.
With Victor Oladipo most likely not returning to the Miami Heat or potentially the NBA due to another nagging injury, the Heat have cap space in signing a player like Lowry. While the Heat may not have enough money to sign Lowry to a max-contract, they have enough to entice Lowry, especially when factoring in the relationship he has with Jimmy Butler. According to an exclusive feature story by CBS Sports, Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry have a great relationship off the court.
“He’s one of my absolute best friends,” Butler said. “He’s the godfather of my daughter. And it’s just like as competitive as it is, we’re always laughing, we’re always joking around.
This is a significant advantage for the Heat in potentially signing Lowry as he would automatically have a great connection with the team’s captain. Lowry would unite with one of his closest friends in the NBA while having a real chance at winning a championship. Heat basketball would become much more fluent with Lowry on the roster. Unfortunately, Lowry on the Heat may not be possible unless he is willing to take a pay-cut to form a new big three in the Eastern Conference.
The most significant advantage the Philadelphia 76ers have in signing Kyle Lowry this off-season is his ancestral roots. Lowry was born and raised in Philadelphia, and since 2016, entertained the possibility of returning home. With the 76ers being first in the Eastern Conference with a record of 49-23, Philadelphia dramatically improved from last season.
Philadelphia made many off-season moves, including revamping their front-office and head coach. Signing Doc Rivers and Daryl Morrey initiated positive results, including trading Al Horford‘s contract, swapping Josh Richardson with Seth Curry, allowing Tobias Harris more offensive possessions, and signing/trading for playoff experienced veterans like Dwight Howard and Danny Green.
Philadelphia has fixed their previous mistakes and has shown that they have a competent and reliable front-office. These aspects are crucial when attracting All-Star calibre free agents. The 76ers proved this season that they could win a championship, which no other team on this list has established. Although the Miami Heat did make the finals last season, the Heat were eliminated in the first round this season. The 76ers have had a great season and proved that they can be a dominant force in the Eastern Conference. That alone should be enough to convince Lowry to finish his career in his hometown.
Los Angeles Clippers
One of the biggest mistakes the Clippers made during the trade deadline was not trading for Kyle Lowry. Out of every team mentioned, Lowry would work best with the Clippers due to his connection with Kawhi Leonard and Serge Ibaka. He would have quickly adapted to the Clippers’ offense as Lowry is extremely versatile. Lowry would also become the vocal leader the Clippers desperately need.
For the second straight season, it appears that the Clippers will most likely be eliminated in the first round against a young Dallas Mavericks team. With Kawhi Leonard being an unrestricted free agent this off-season, the Clippers could lose their franchise player. The only way the Clippers could convince Kawhi to return is if they sign Kyle Lowry.
The Clippers have put themselves in a tight position. The Clippers extended Luke Kennard to a four-year $64 million contract extension. That money could have been used to sign Kyle Lowry, but unfortunately, the Clippers only have enough cap space to re-sign Kawhi Leonard. Expect the Clippers this off-season to be incredibly active as they need to trade large contracts to sign Kyle Lowry.
Kyle Lowry is one of the biggest names in free agency and will receive offers from more than four organizations. While no source knows exactly where Kyle Lowry will sign, these four teams have been the most interested. Every organization mentioned has its unique case in convincing Kyle Lowry to join their organization. The only question is, will Kyle Lowry look to win a championship, or will he want a massive pay-day?