After the surge of big names that will or will not hit free agency passes, players like Kyle Lowry are going to get plenty of attention around the league, as the Toronto Raptors point guard showed he is made of the right material to lead a playoff team this season, but obviously it makes him want to make the kind of money a star deserves. With that in mind, expect the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers and Indiana Pacers to try and sign him.
Lowry averaged 17.9 points, 7.4 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game for the Raptors, leading them to the playoffs despite early season predictions telling everyone they’d be a tanking and bottom feeding team. A 7-year veteran, Lowry made $6.2 million last season and he’ll be looking to reach at least an eight-figure salary next season, whether it’s with the Raptors who have plenty of upside and promise but not a whole lot of cap space.
The Raptors at the moment are at $51 million. If the salary cap will be indeed $63 million, signing Lowry will clog and prevent them from adding anyone else except for a mid level exception signing. On the other hand, it’s hard to say if the Raptors are actually even interested in going beyond the cap, as they haven’t shown too much willingness to pay any sort of tax in previous years. Part of the big rebuild (which turned out quicker than expected) was lowering costs and going younger.
But there are other intriguing options for Lowry out there. The Los Angeles Lakers can use any sort of help they can get. Kobe Bryant is about 40% of the cap space, and there isn’t too much besides him. Lowry would obviously be a big help on the Lakers and they also have enough cap space to sign him for $10 or even $12 million, but giving him that kind of money might not be that beneficial for a team with so many needs and big ambitions.
One team that knows they need to improve but aren’t quite sure how to do it are the Indiana Pacers. Some feel like their point guard situation with George Hill is the first in line in need of an upgrade. In order to sign Lowry, however, the Pacers will need to make some kind of trade because they’re slightly over the cap. Stephenson is also in need of a new deal so that might be a problem. It’s hard seeing what players the Pacers can move to sign Lowry, considering they aren’t interested in trading Roy Hibbert.
And the Miami Heat.Everything depends on the pay cut the big three will take.If James, Wade and Bosh remain with Miami for a much reduced salary, the Heat can start bringing in players through free agency that will make an immediate impact. Lowry is young, so he isn’t going to be interested in a low ball salary, but the chance of playing with them and maybe winning a championship is always a very good leverage for negotiations.