Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry will be one of the prized free agents in next month’s free agency. Lowry was the most coveted player at the 2021 trade deadline with several teams, including the Philadelphia 76ers and the Miami Heat, trying to land him. In the end, the Raptors decided to keep him past the trade deadline. Next month, Lowry will have the option to choose where he wants to play next. The Sixers, Heat, and Los Angeles Lakers have already been rumored as potential destinations for the guard. Now, there appears to be a new team joining the race for Lowry. That new team is the New Orleans Pelicans. According to Marc Stein, there’s growing buzz that the Pelicans will enter the race for the six-time all-star.
There is rising buzz New Orleans plans to enter the race for free agent-to-be Kyle Lowry, league sources say.
There will be several Lowry suitors but it's clear why the Pels, desperate to help Zion Williamson reach the playoffs, would want in.
More NBA: https://t.co/LGN9cV7Dif
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 19, 2021
The Pelicans are coming off a disappointing season where they missed the playoffs again under former head coach Stan Van Gundy. Zion Williamson desperately needs help around him to build a playoff contender. Playmaking and shooting are two areas that need to be addressed in New Orleans. Last season, the Pelicans ranked 25th in the league in three-point shooting at 34.8 percent. Lowry will bring both to the table along with veteran playoff experience. Despite his age, Lowry is still valuable around the league with contenders vying for his services. Lowry is coming off a season where he averaged 17.2 points and 7.3 assists per game while shooting just below 40 percent from downtown.
The Pelicans’ restricted free agent Lonzo Ball did show some promise last season but there’s a great chance he leaves for a huge contract elsewhere. A team like the New York Knicks could offer him a four-year $100 million deal, which could be too pricey to match. Ball’s backcourt partner, Eric Bledsoe, has been disappointing and it’s likely the Pelicans are ready to move on.
It’s believed that Lowry is seeking a two-year $50 million deal this summer. In order for the Pelican to reach that offer, they’ll have to find a taker for Steven Adams and stretch out Bledsoe’s contact. According to the Athletic, they’ll open up $30 million in cap space if that happens. Even with the cap space, the Pelicans will still have competition for Lowry. Teams like the Sixers and Heat will make another aggressive push at the point guard. Still, this could be the piece the Pelicans need to end their playoff drought.
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