Will Houston have better luck during free agency?
Last season, Lowry in a contract year was turning heads across the border, posting career highs in points and assists, and marginally improving his three point shot. He surely was one of the main reasons for the Raptors’ strong playoff showing against the Brooklyn Nets.
If Houston had pulled of this signing they arguably would have made it past the Portland Trail Blazers into the second round of the playoffs, and given the San Antonio Spurs a tougher fight than the Blazers managed, with James Harden paired with Lowry in the backcourt.
Toronto GM Masai Ujiri had the impressive point guard on the trading block; The Raptors were considered to be in a rebuilding phase, and he would be allowed to leave in return for assets. He was – and is expected to commanded a big pay rise and Toronto weren’t prepared to hand out the costly cheques.
Houston on the other hand had Jeremy Lin and Patrick Beverley for point guards. Woj doesn’t say what Houston were willing to give up for Lowry. Lowry as a free agent is expected to receive an offer worth arount $12M annually, and assuming The Rockets were already eyeing Carmelo Anthony they would not have been planning to keep Lowry beyond the layoff. He lkely would have been a short term fix.
The New York Knicks were also interested in a deal for Lowry, and they came extremely close to making one happen until owner James Dolan vetoed the trade.
The Rockets are clearly not sold on either Jeremy Lin or Patrick Beverley, but that should come as no surprise.
Lin hasn’t panned out as expected since Linsanity, though still a solid point guard, while Beverley doesn’t contribute much on the offensive end. He was originally signed as a backup but Lin’s turnovers and erratic performances became so much of a problem that Beverley replaced him.