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Report: 76ers plan to pursue Kyle Lowry via sign-and-trade

Arun Srinivasan
·2 min read
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The Toronto Raptors fended off outside pursuit of Kyle Lowry through the 2021 NBA trade deadline, but with the veteran point guard slated to become an unrestricted free agent, they may not be able to retain him forever. 

Philadelphia was widely rumored to be one of the biggest players for Lowry leading up to the deadline, in large part due to Lowry's connection to his hometown, and the 76ers positioned as a title contender this year. Lowry's agent, Mark Bartelstein, flatly rejected any notion of a trade and after weeks of speculation, Lowry sent a missive on his Instagram story reading, "The lies people tell in the media are amazing!!" 

As we know, Toronto opted to retain Lowry despite an air of finality in post-game press conferences. 

The Athletic's Sam Amick reported that the 76ers' plan on pursuing Lowry via sign-and-trade this summer. Amick also notes that Miami is the only leading contender for Lowry that has the projected cap space to sign him outright as a free agent. 

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 11: Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors in action against the New York Knicks during a game at Madison Square Garden on April 11, 2021 in New York City. The Knicks defeated the Raptors 102-96. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry is being linked to a potential move to the Philadelphia 76ers this summer. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Here's the full details of Amick's report, so nothing gets lost in translation:

But as team president Masai Ujiri made clear back then, the Raptors still have an incredibly high opinion of Lowry and his game that — as they saw it — wasn’t properly reflected in the offers that came their way. Yet among the three teams known to be in hot pursuit of Lowry back then — the Lakers, Miami and Philadelphia — only the Heat are in a financial position to possibly sign Lowry outright this summer. Sources say the Sixers still plan on pursuing him by way of a possible sign-and-trade. While they added George Hill at the deadline in lieu of Lowry, only $1.2 million of his $10 million salary for next season is guaranteed, and the deal expires at that point. The Lowry interest remains very strong there.

The prospect of Lowry leaving Toronto is a bitter pill to swallow, but it's far from an unexpected development if he were to leave. Lowry has been a known unrestricted free agent for some time and though he's been nothing but grateful for the undying love and support from Raptors fans, a chance at another Larry O'B may be too tempting for him to pass up. 

We're still months away, so there's ample time to prepare a farewell, but once again, the 76ers are back leading the chase for Lowry while a host of other teams are almost certainly going to be interested in the perennial All-Star as well. 

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