Kyle Lowry seems to have had enough of losing in Toronto. After getting swept by LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the conference semifinals, Lowry has made it official that he’ll explore unrestricted free agency this summer, saying that he simply “wants a ring”.
Some time ago I listed ten NBA stars who might need to pursue forming a super team in order to win a championship in the future. Lowry was on that list. He now has a 238-174 regular season record and 17-24 playoff record with the Raptors.
So what makes sense for the 3-time All-Star going forward? It’s believed that Lowry would consider making a move back to the Western Conference. If so, the somewhat obvious destination would have to be San Antonio. The Spurs targeted Mike Conley in free agency last summer, and with Tony Parker’s recent injury and Patty Mills becoming a free agent, there might be a reasonable opening for Lowry where he could instantly compete for a championship.
Before looking at other possibilities, staying in Toronto is still an option for Lowry. Raptors GM Masai Ujiri has emphasized the need for a culture change, potentially hinting at moving on from head coach Dwane Casey. Re-signing Lowry will be a clear priority for the franchise this summer, but Ujiri might have to pull off a monumental power move in order for Lowry to stay — especially if he’s convinced about moving on.
What might that power move look like? It would probably need to be a grandiose trade — one that would offer anything and anyone under the sun except for Toronto’s All-Star backcourt — in exchange for a big fish such as Carmelo Anthony or Paul George. Executing such a bold move might be the only way to keep Lowry depending on his conviction.
The latest report is that Lowry will be pursued by the 76ers this summer. Lowry is from Philly and it would make for a nice homecoming, not to mention the sizeable upgrade it would be for the Sixers at point guard. But this move wouldn’t be consistent with Lowry’s stated desire to compete for a championship.
Another option for Lowry, looking back to the West, could be going back to Houston, where he spent four seasons before being traded to Toronto in 2012. Sure, James Harden has blossomed in his point guard role, but particularly with the Rockets falling short the way they did this postseason, making way for another weapon like Lowry would expand their capabilities on the floor.
What’s tough about migrating back out West is scarcity. The Spurs make for an obvious candidate because every other relevant team has their point guard, all of whom are in the upper echelon at the position.
In order for Lowry to fulfill his wishes, only a handful of options will make much sense.