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Kyle Lowry free agency latest: Pelicans want him to be their Chris Paul; Mavs, Heat, 76ers interested

Raptors guard Kyle Lowry

TAMPA, FLORIDA - MARCH 03: Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors reacts during the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Amalie Arena on March 03, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

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Kyle Lowry is in demand.

More in demand than one might expect for a 35-year-old point guard who has had injury issues four of the past five seasons. However, he is still a recent All-Star level player at a position in demand around the league. A lot of teams are lined up for him.

The New Orleans Pelicans have been known to be on that list for a while — and they are considered a longshot to land him. The sales pitch will essentially be a huge contract — the Pelicans just made a big trade to clear cap space — and a Chris Paul with the Suns kind of role, reports Brian Windhorst at ESPN.

Griffin hopes to make a huge offer to veteran free agent point guard Kyle Lowry, sources say, in an effort to import the type of leadership that Chris Paul brought to the Suns last year in morphing them into contenders.

The challenges here are twofold. First, Paul came to the Suns after a strong season in Oklahoma City, looked like he had rejuvenated his body and game, was thriving in the mentor role, and was an All-NBA player the season before he got to Phoenix. Lowry looked a step slower last season, has had injury issues, and was not an All-Star.

The other is that Lowry wants another ring and other suitors closer to that goal will come calling. From the newsletter of Marc Stein:

The Dallas Mavericks’ post-draft focus, sources say, will be the pursuit of Kyle Lowry (along with Miami, New Orleans and Philadelphia) and their bid to re-sign Tim Hardaway Jr. Dallas was initially expected to wait and see if Kawhi Leonard gave any indication that he was open to leaving the Clippers, but the Mavericks have moved off of those plans.

Dallas has Luka Doncic to share playmaking duties (New Orleans does have Zion Williamson). The Heat have Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and a culture that got them to the Finals two seasons ago. Philadelphia is going home and he fits better with Joel Embiid (this would likely be a sign-and-trade involving Ben Simmons). We also know LeBron James and the Lakers want Lowry as well, and there may be mutual interest. However, the logistics of getting him to Los Angeles is challenging because it involves a sign-and-trade that both hard caps the Lakers and forces them to gut their role player depth to accommodate three stars (LeBron, Lowry, and Anthony Davis combined would make at least $101 million, and the hard cap is $143 million, that’s not a lot of extra money to bring in championship-ready players to go around those stars).

Lowry would fit well with the Pelicans and make them better, and they can throw a lot of money at him if that is what Lowry wants. If not, Stein says watch for the Pelicans to go after Nets free agent point guard Spencer Dinwiddie.