Kyle Lowry’s potential homecoming to Philadelphia might have been derailed by the 76ers’ likely trade with the Boston Celtics to acquire the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
The 76ers and Celtics reportedly are set to finalize the trade Monday, and Philly is expected to use the top selection to draft Washington point guard Markelle Fultz.
With Fultz in the fold and presumably the 76ers’ starting point guard of the present and future, making a free-agent contract offer to Kyle Lowry no longer makes sense for Philadelphia.
Lowry was an All-Star this past season for the Toronto Raptors, averaging 22.4 points, 7.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game. He played his college basketball at Villanova, which obviously is close to Philadelphia.
Even though the 76ers could afford Lowry since they are way under the salary cap, the rest of their roster figures to get real expensive in the next few years. Joel Embiid, Robert Covington, Jahlil Okafor and others would be eligible for extensions during the time of Lowry’s contract with the 76ers, if the Sixers signed him to a four-year deal.
Philadelphia has built an exciting core of young players with tremendous talent, and if these players realize their potential, keeping them together would be very expensive.
There’s also injury concerns with Lowry. He missed 22 games due to wrist and ankle ailments last season and hasn’t played a full campaign since 2007-08.
The 76ers would be wise to maintain its financial flexibility by not signing a player for max money this summer, even if it’s a star like Lowry with Philly ties.
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