The NBA's Trade Deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m. ET, and perhaps the biggest-name player to watch, with Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon already having been moved Thursday, is six-time Toronto Raptors All-Star guard Kyle Lowry. SportsLine oddsmakers favor Lowry being dealt by the deadline.
Lowry is arguably the most popular player and certainly one of the best in Raptors history, but Toronto is going nowhere fast this season at 18-26. The Raptors were embarrassed Monday in Houston, 117-99, as the Rockets ended their 20-game losing streak, which was tied for the ninth-worst in NBA history and the longest since Philadelphia's record-setting, 28-game losing streak across the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
That Houston defeat might have been the final straw in terms of team president Masai Ujiri and GM Bobby Webster dealing Lowry. He is set for unrestricted free agency this summer and is 35 today. The Raptors can get perhaps a good young player and a first-round draft pick for Lowry and move forward with their young core of Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby. Norman Powell, though, also could be moved.
Lowry acted like his Toronto days might be done following Wednesday's 135-111 upset win over Denver: "It was kind of weird not knowing what the next step would be, just with understanding there are things that could possibly be done. "I mean, who knows what's going to happen? No one knows what's going to happen. But it was definitely, for sure, different." ESPN is reporting that Lowry is preparing to be traded to the Sixers.
Because Lowry is a franchise icon, the Raptors are only going to trade him somewhere he wants to go – and it's essentially down to Miami and Philadelphia as both are contenders in the Eastern Conference. The Heat are +1300 to win the East at William Hill Sportsbook and 76ers +500 – both odds would get shorter with Lowry, who is from Philly but also good friends with Heat star Jimmy Butler.
The Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey wrote Tuesday that the Sixers are "prepared to make a move before Thursday's 3 p.m. trade deadline only if something comes along that helps in their quest to win an NBA title" and that Lowry wants a guarantee from his new team on a two-year extension worth at least $50 million. He makes $30 million this year.
That could be tough for Philly as it already has Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris on max contracts. A trade of rookie Tyrese Maxey, some throw-in salaries and a 2021 first-round pick might do it from Toronto's perspective.
As for Miami, the Raptors reportedly want Tyler Herro as the centerpiece of any deal, but the Heat are balking at that and would prefer to give up Duncan Robinson. The problem with Robinson is that he is a pending restricted free agent. The Heat also are lacking in first-round picks to sweeten the deal due to previous trades.
There's also the fact Miami is also chasing Rockets guard Victor Oladipo, who is all but a lock to be traded by Thursday's deadline, most likely either to the Heat or Knicks. Oladipo, 28, is in the final season of a four-year, $85 million contract. The Rockets didn't let him play on Wednesday so a trade seems a done deal.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Will Kyle Lowry be traded by Thursday's deadline?
- Yes -150
- No +120
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Will Victor Oladipo be traded by Thursday's deadline?
- Yes -450
- No +350
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