The Toronto Raptors are rushing toward a roster transformation on Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, engaging in multi-front talks focused on separate deals for six-time All-Star guard Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell, sources said. to ESPN.
In the final year of his contract, Lowry’s chances of leaving Toronto in a trade are gaining ground. Powell’s future has become much smaller as to whether he will be transferred, but what among a dozen suitors will acquire him.
The Raptors, losers of nine in a row, falling to 11th place in the Eastern Conference, will have more talks on Wednesday and Thursday’s trade deadline is approaching at 3pm ET.
Philadelphia and Miami have committed to Toronto at Lowry, and league sources say there are several more teams in the Eastern and Western Conferences, giving Toronto president Masai Ujiri and general manager Bobby Webster a reason. to weigh the possibility of accepting a future asset return rather than bowing down. at Lowry for one final playoff run.
Lowry, who will turn 35 on Thursday, grew up in Philadelphia, playing his college ball at Villanova. A trade with the Sixers would represent a homecoming, but Lowry has been open-minded about several potential destinations, sources said. Lowry does not have veto power over a trade, but Raptors management is taking Lowry’s wishes into consideration, given his monumental role in the franchise’s ascent to the perennial contention of the playoffs, a 2019 NBA Championship. and its place in the Canadian sporting tradition.
Lowry, who is making $ 30.5 million this season, will seek a new contract in the offseason.
Philadelphia has discussed separate deals with Toronto at both Lowry and Powell, the sources said. The Sixers have also asked about other guards available on the market, including Oklahoma City’s George Hill and New Orleans’ Lonzo Ball, the sources said.
By moving Lowry and Powell, the Raptors would accelerate a rebuild built around three young players they have invested in on long-term contracts: guards Fred VanVleet and forwards Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby.
The Raptors have been decimated with COVID problems and injuries, falling to 17-26 overall, 11th in the Eastern Conference. The franchise’s rise to the playoff scene is pretty steep, especially in a season the team plays outside of Canada in Tampa, Florida.
Powell, 27, has had his best season in the NBA, averaging 19.7 points and shooting 43 percent on 3s. He is expected to decline the $ 11.6 million option on his contract for the 2021-2022 season and become a free agent this summer. Teams that change it prefer to find a way to sign it to a new agreement and not give up assets to simply rent it for the rest of the season.
The Raptors have a number of ways to go with a Powell trade – a series of combinations of young players, draft picks and expiring contracts – that will give Toronto the option to play.