Raptors point guard and Villanova product Kyle Lowry will opt out of the final year of his contract and test free agency this summer.
Should the Sixers try to bring Lowry home to Philly?
Running the Give and Go is CSNPhilly.com Sixers Insider Jessica Camerato and producer/writers Paul Hudrick and Steven Tydings.
In this edition, it's pretty simple: Is Lowry a fit for the Sixers?
Lowry could be leaving Toronto and you can expect teams looking for an experienced backcourt leader to make calls this summer. That goes for the Sixers too, but whether or not they will make an offer big enough to lure the Philadelphia native back home is a different story.
Lowry will opt out of the final year of his contract with the Raptors and become a free agent. Wherever he lands, it will come with a major price tag.
While the Sixers have money to spend, Lowry is not the best fit for it. Don’t get me wrong, Lowry is a top guard in the league and will greatly help whichever team he goes to this offseason. He is at a different point in his career, though, than the Sixers are in the development of their roster.
Lowry turned 31 years old in March. He is coming off a career-best season of 22.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7.0 assists. If the Sixers had been a sixth or seventh seed, let’s say, this season, Lowry could be the spark that takes them to the next level of playoff contention. The Sixers aren’t there yet.
Then there are Lowry’s priorities.
“I want to just get better, I want to have fun, I want to win a ring, I want to make sure my family is happy, and that’s all I’ve thought about right now,” Lowry said Monday, per the Toronto Sun.
Philadelphia has the lure of his hometown. Other teams have the lure of championship contention next season. What Lowry ultimately decides to do will remain to be seen this summer.
The possibility of Lowry's running the point for the Sixers next year is tantalizing. Putting the All-NBA guard in charge of the offense would be a surefire way to put the Sixers back in the postseason as soon as next season and go from rebuild to potential contender in no time. That Lowry would be returning to his hometown just enhances the appeal.
But I don't see that working out for the Sixers or Lowry. For Lowry, his stated goal is to win a ring. While he feels he can win a title anywhere, the Sixers aren't a great fit for the point guard. Part of what sunk the Raptors are the lack of shooters around Lowry and backcourt mate DeMar DeRozan. It would only be worse with the Sixers, who are searching for shooters themselves. Lowry probably only has two to three more years of All-Star level performance and that simply doesn't work with the Sixers.
And, for what it's worth, I'm not certain Lowry fits the Sixers. They could sign Lowry and then trade prospects/picks for someone like Jimmy Butler, but they'd still have a young supporting cast without playoff experience. That sounds like a recipe to become first-round fodder, even in the East. Instead, a Lowry signing would push Ben Simmons off point guard and force the Sixers' core to take a step forward quickly while possibly stunting Simmons' development. It doesn't help that Lowry is likely to decline significantly by the fourth year of a potential max (or near max) contract.
The best bet is that Lowry returns to the Raptors in free agency. He's good friends with DeRozan and has become the face of the young franchise. But if he feels it's time to leave or GM Masai Ujiri decides to tear down the semi-contending Dinos, Lowry still doesn't quite fit the Sixers, particularly if you see Simmons as the point guard of the future.
It just makes so much sense, right? The Sixers need a point guard and Philly native Lowry is opting out of his contract with the Toronto Raptors. It's like the stars are aligning.
Sorry to throw cold water on all this, but when Lowry was asked what he was looking for in his next team, his response was not a favorable one for the Sixers.
“A ring. Nothing else. I just want a ring,” Lowry told reporters.
The Sixers' plans obviously don't align with what the 31-year-old point guard is looking for. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are the cornerstones of the Sixers' franchise. Embiid has played 31 career games while Simmons has yet to take the floor.
There's also the strong chance that the Sixers will have an opportunity to draft a young guard. Washington's Markelle Fultz, UCLA's Lonzo Ball, Kentucky's Malik Monk and De'Aaron Fox and NC State's Dennis Smith are likely to all go in the top 10. What's the point in bringing in a veteran to stunt their growth?
Would Lowry make the Sixers better? Yes. Does it make sense to sign him? Absolutely not.