File this one under Danny Ainge performing his due diligence, with nothing likely to come of it.
The Celtics are one of six teams that have “inquired” about point guard Kyle Lowry in a potential trade with the Toronto Raptors, CBSSports reports. The Lakers, who have used five different starting point guards this season, are at the top of the list of interested teams, but the Knicks, Nets, Timberwolves and Warriors are also thought to have interest.
“With the deadline less than seven weeks away, [Raptors general manager Masai] Ujiri is said to have multiple deals he could do for Lowry that would involve receiving an expiring contract in return or slotting him into another team’s trade exception,” Ken Berger writes. “Taking back future salary would come at a high price, i.e. a first-round pick.”
That last detail likely takes the Celtics out of consideration. The Celtics are in need of a point guard, where Jordan Crawford has performed admirably but out of place for most of the season, but Ainge has never given any indication of being in love with Lowry, especially at the $6 million price. Lowry, 27, is averaging 15.6 points and 7.4 assists per game for the Raptors, who have won eight of their last 10 games and taken over first place in the Atlantic Division.
The Celtics’ main objectives for trade season in the next month and a half are to shed future salary and keep their draft picks. Any deal that would satisfy the Raptors’ asking price for Lowry would seem to run against the Celtics’ goals.