The 28-year-old point guard will become a free agent this summer after a having a breakout year for the Toronto Raptors. Could the Knicks even be an option?
The 2013/14 season was a big one for Kyle Lowry. He averaged career highs in points, rebounds, assists and minutes per game as well as shooting a career best of 38% from the three-point line.
He helped guide his Toronto Raptors to a franchise high 48-win season and the third seed in the Eastern Conference. And while Toronto could not find a way past the savvy veterans of the Brooklyn Nets, the price of Lowry’s stock has undoubtedly taken a massive leap.
Lowry’s current contract expires this summer and will likely draw many suitors. Here are some of the spots Lowry could end up:
The Rocket’s point guard situation is somewhat unclear. They currently have Jeremy Lin and Patrick Beverly on the books, though Lin has been implicated in various potential trades as Houston look are move his overvalued contract and while Beverly is one of the best on-ball defenders in the league, he is not quite ready to run the offense on a championship team, something Houston aspire to be. Lowry would be a perfect fit in Houston should they manage to deal Lin, however Houston would likely have to be offering somewhere in the region $15 million per year should they wish to pry Lowry away from Toronto. If the Rockets really are intent on pursuing Kevin Love it will be unlikely they have the cap space to acquire both targets.
The Lakers are going to be exploring all sorts of options this summer and one of those may just be looking to acquire Lowry. Should the Lakers free up some cap space by moving either Pau Gasol or Steve Nash in a trade then Kyle Lowry would be a fantastic pick-up for LA. If Nash goes, then it makes their need for a point guard even more pressing, though even if they choose to keep Nash they could start Lowry and bring Nash in to run the second unit. Not a bad set up at all.
Back in December it was reported that James Dolan blocked a trade to bring Kyle Lowry to New York in exchange for Raymond Felton, Metta World Peace and the Knicks 2018 first-round draft pick. It was rumoured that Dolan was unwillingly to send away yet another draft pick with New York already having dealt seven of their future first and second round draft picks over the next four years. Now that Lowry could be acquired without having to send away any future assets, New York may be tempted to have a second look. Unfortunately, the Knicks are in a difficult financial situation and should Andrea Bargnani, Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire all opt in to the final years of their contracts New York will have around $90 million guaranteed next season. Should the Knicks wish to get back under the tax next year, signing Lowry would be impossible without moving current assets.
The most likely situation, however, is that Lowry stays put in Canada. He's expressed a desire to remain a Raptor next season and the only real question is whether or not the Raptors can afford him. Lowry could command anywhere between $10 and $18 million on the open market, depending on how desperate a team is to make a big signing and one can easily imagine one of the teams who lose the race for Kevin Love setting out to lure Lowry away from Toronto with a large contract. The likelihood is that Lowry remains in Toronto on somewhere near $12 million a year, though should a big offer come in it will interesting to see how much Toronto really value him.