Kyle Lowry will never join the Sixers and that’s (not) okay

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Kyle Lowry will (probably) never join the Philadelphia 76ers.

Kyle Lowry is the perfect point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers‘ current system.

He’s grizzled, smart and tough, a good defender and the kind of hard-nosed, no-nonsense locker room leader who demands effort from everyone around him. If paired up with a player like Josh Richardson (or Shake Milton) in the backcourt, alongside a super-sized frontcourt featuring Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid, and a fully indoctrinated power forward Ben Simmons, it’s hard to find a better starting five in the NBA period, let alone the Eastern Conference.

Heck, Lowry is even a native of our fair City of Brotherly Love, a product of Cardinal Dougherty who spent two not-controversial-at-all seasons on the Mainline with Jay Wright before hearing his name called 24th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2006 NBA Draft.

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In a perfect world, the Sixers would call up Masai Ujiri, make a player-for-player swap to bring Lowry home in exchange for the similarly well-traveled Al Horford, and prepare themselves for a 2020-21 NBA season as the Eastern Conference’s favorites above even the new-look Brooklyn Nets and Giannis’ Milwaukee Bucks. Fans in the 215 would be greeted to a second-straight year with a parade down Broad Street thanks to the Flyers and Sixers and all would be right in the realm of sports.

But here’s the thing: Have you looked around our fair world recently? This place is a flippin’ nightmare at the moment.

Star players keep getting hurt, the Phillies have one of the worst bullpens in MLB history (more on that here) and barring an absolutely insane confluence of events, Kyle Lowry will never wear a Philadelphia 76ers jersey save for maybe one of the sweet Allen Iverson throwbacks frequently released by Mitchell & Ness.

You see, Lowry was set to enter the final season of a three-year, $90 million deal he signed with the Toronto Raptors in 2017, before signing a one year, $30 million extension to keep him in the Six midway through 2021. When said contract expires, Lowry will be 35-years-old, with his March birthday leaving him 36 by season’s conclusion.

Just for context, the youngest player on the Sixers, Zhaire Smith, was born in 1999, when Lowry was firmly in middle school.

While Lowry could conceivably continue on his NBA career in the fall of 2021 elsewhere, chasing another championship during the twilight of his NBA career, it’s hard to imagine that happening outside of the Great White North.

As things presently stand, Lowry is the all-time leading scorer in Raptors history, the most prolific player in Raptors history, and one of only a handful of players to actually bring a championship back to Toronto. Lowry’s number will all but surely be retired by the team, his jersey will be hung into the rafters of Scotiabank Arena, and maybe even land a statue in Jurassic Park alongside other all-timers like Vince Carter and… Chris Bosh?

Even if Fred VanVleet is the Raptors’ future at point guard and will be compensated accordingly whenever this season comes to an end, Lowry may value sticking around where he’s beloved over chasing that fleeting feeling again elsewhere, even in his hometown.

But then again, Lowry did participate in Black Lives Matter protests alongside Matisse Thybulle and Tobias Harris earlier this year, so maybe there is some secret connection between the two parties that we don’t know about.

*sigh* I doubt it though.

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So Kyle Lowry, if your career ultimately doesn’t end with a short-term deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, it’s okay. I mean, it’s not, as you’d be a perfect fit on the team and the kind of player who can light a fire under the you-know-whats of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Still, acceptance is the final step in the grieving process and having after opportunity, after opportunity to return home for a title push, it’s just easier to accept the inevitable instead of hoping for a virtual impossibility.