Sixers: Is pursuing Kyle Lowry a good idea?

May 1, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson (13) during the second half in game one of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
May 1, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson (13) during the second half in game one of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

With the Toronto Raptors season ending yesterday, the offseason rumors have already started for their players. The hottest rumor seems to be that of Kyle Lowry’s future.

Ahhh, there’s nothing like rumors regarding a player who’s season ended less than a day ago. After getting swept by the Cavaliers, the Toronto Raptors season is effectively over. With that, they are one of the teams who has to decide if they stick with their current core or “blow it up”. The player who likely will spearhead that movement is Kyle Lowry, their point guard who just wrapped up his 5th season with the team.

Lowry is an unrestricted free agent heading into this offseason, and it’s to no one’s surprise he’s already being linked with the Sixers. On ESPN’s Zach Lowe‘s weekly “Lowe Post” podcast, he talked with ESPN’s Brian Windhorst regarding Lowry’s future:

"Lowe: (talks about Lowry)Windhorst: I’ll tell you who’s going to sign him…Philly.Lowe: Look, It ain’t hard to connect the dots. He’s from there, Colangelo’s there, they need a point guard.Windhorst: They also have more money than they know what to do with.Lowe: I think they absolutely make a run at him."

While podcasts can sometimes become nothing more than just rambling talk, there might be something here. There’s much risk and reward that can be profiled when pursuing a player like Lowry, and it needs to be thoroughly examined. The Sixers are in as delicate of a position as any NBA team at the moment, and sound decisions from upper management need to occur to ensure this team stays on the best path for future success. Let’s take a closer look at Lowry and this potential fit below:

Why it SHOULD happen:

Philadelphia/Bryan Colangelo connection:

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Everyone in this area knows Lowry’s connection to the city. He grew up here, attended high school at Cardinal Dougherty, and went to college at Villanova. In addition to that, he’s worked with Bryan Colangelo before. Colangelo traded Gary Forbes and a first-round pick in a 2012 trade with the Rockets for Lowry when he was GM of the Raptors (turns out he’s capable of winning trades big time). The thought that Colangelo would eventually poach his former players has always been there, and this is the juiciest potential reunion of them all.

  • He fits the system:

What can’t be disputed is the system fit for Lowry and the Sixers. It’s expected that Ben Simmons will be the point-forward, which leaves a clear void for a good ball handler and shooter. There are the obvious questions about Simmons’ health and durability at the moment, and Lowry could seriously ease those concerns. He would be terrific at spacing the floor and has a good shot as he’s coming off a career-best 41% from three this year.

  • Terrific mentor for the younger players:

Lowry is 31, which would likely make him the oldest member of the roster next year. While you don’t need your mentor players to be your best players, it surely helps. Lowry would be a great role-model for the young players on the team, both through his leadership and leading by example on the court. When you combine the fact he’s familiar with the area and the Philly landscape, he could certainly prepare younger players for the rigors of playing in Philadelphia.

Why it SHOULDN’T happen:

  • He’s going to command a ton of money:

When Lowry’s deal in Toronto was structured, he signed for 4 years/$48 million which has to be one of the steals of the last five years in the league. Don’t expect anything of that sort this time around. Lowry can command a 5 year/$202 million deal by re-signing in Toronto, and while he can’t get that anywhere else, he’s going to want top dollar. With the potential of needing to max out Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons down the road, how much would a deal 3 years or over make sense for this team? By age 34 or 35, Lowry will be eating about 25-35% of the team’s cap room.

  • The team is looking to get younger:

Out of anyone with a chance of remaining on this roster next year, Gerald Henderson is the elder at age 29. With so many young players on the roster and potentially two (at least we hope) high draft picks being added, does it make sense to throw tons of money at an aging player? The team seems to be happy with adding mentors in the form of guys like Henderson and Jerryd Bayless, thus minimizing the need for a guy like Lowry. If Lowry was 27 right now, we are likely having another conversation. The fact is he’s 31 and wants a long-term deal.

  • Does he want to be in a situation where he won’t win right away?

Again, Lowry is 31. Does someone of his age want to join a team with question marks everywhere? No one will dispute the obvious promise of this Sixers roster, but that’s all it is right now; promise. Realistically, even with a great draft next month, the Sixers likely aren’t competing for serious hardware until 2019 at earliest. Lowry will be 33 by then, and probably not averaging 22 and 7 like he did this year. While the hometown factor could weigh heavy in his decision, if Lowry is looking to prioritize immediate wins at the latter stage of his career, he might look elsewhere.

Next: The Sixers and Their Furkan Korkmaz Dilemma

To sum it up, I don’t believe we should pursue Lowry. He’s a fantastic player and is vastly responsible for the rise of the Raptors in the last 3-4 years. The fact of the matter is the Sixers don’t need a max-deal for an aging guy right now. Four years ago, we would have all been drooling over the prospect of this. While Philly always loves one of our own making a return, it’s time to put this rumor to bed.