The Toronto Raptors are in the same position the Oklahoma City Thunder were in a year ago. Should they trust Kyle Lowry’s loyalty or trade him before he decides to sign elsewhere next summer?
The Thunder were certain that Durant was going to re-sign with them. The whole basketball world knows how that turned out.
To avoid a similar fate, the Raptors should consider trading Lowry. The two-time All-Star is playing on the last guaranteed year of his four-year, $48 million deal. He has an opt out option for the 2017-18 season.
Brian Boake of Raptors Rapture proposed a trade that would ship Lowry to his hometown team the Philadelphia 76ers. He will be exchanged for sophomore center Jahlil Okafor.
Lowry is set to earn $12 million next season. Okafor will make $4.8 million. The player-for-player swap would still work because the 76ers are deeply beneath the salary cap threshold. 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo has a wiggle room of over $19 million, Spot Rac reported.
It’s worth noting that it was Colangelo who traded for Lowry during his stint as Raptors general manager. Furthermore, Lowry would have a better chance of re-signing with the 76ers than the Raptors.
If he decides to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, he could sign a massive contract extension with the 76ers and play out the rest of his career with his hometown team.
Earlier in the offseason, Colangelo told Real GM that he won’t make a deal just for the sake of making a deal. It would take something special for the 76ers to consider trading Okafor, Nerlens Noel or Joel Embiid.
Lowry could be that special player. He made the All-Star team the last two seasons and was named to the 2016 All-NBA Third Team. He also led the Raptors in assists and steals per game last season, as per NBA.com.
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