Report: Kyle Lowry, 76ers have mutual interest, could seek move this offseason
Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry was quick to announce he’d be opting out of his deal, doing so a day after being swept off the second round of the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers. His interest however, may lie in his hometown Philadelphia 76ers, who have maintained a mutual interest, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Sixers president Bryan Colangelo was actually the general manager of the Raptors when they acquired Lowry from the Houston Rockets in 2012, adding a much-needed sense of familiarity for the Villanova star. Colangelo and Lowry have remained good friends since he was traded to Toronto.
According to Pompey’s sources, Philadelphia had planned to offer Lowry a “lucrative” contract this summer for quite some time, one which will likely be the last long-term deal of his career.
Raptors president and general manager Masai Ujiri has expressed his intent on retaining Lowry’s services, but also shone light on a cultural change for the franchise in order to move forward with the team — claiming he had all the support from ownership to do as he sees fit.
Toronto can offer the Philly native a hefty sum, but it’s yet to be seen if he is looking for a change of scenery or rather hellbent on getting a ring, as he explained during his exit meeting interviews.
The Sixers boast exciting prospects in center Joel Embiid and rookie Ben Simmons, who has yet to make his debut. Lowry can be that veteran missing piece of the puzzle that could send the team in an upward direction come next season — but certainly it’s unlikely he’ll fight for a title anytime soon if he joins the upstart Philly squad.
A change of culture in the Raptors’ system would involve perhaps a share-the-wealth type offense — including a change of coach as well — which could be a complete change of pace for the 31-year-old guard.
The 6-foot dynamo is bound to get lucrative offers regardless of the team, boasting career-highs in scoring (22.4), rebounding (4.8), and three-point shooting (3.2 threes made on 41.2 percent) during the 2016-17 season.