Whether Kyle Lowry will be a member of the Toronto Raptors next season is anyone’s best guess.
The future of the Raptors point guard is up in the air, as the team legend remains unsigned for the 2021-22 season and beyond. With the fourth overall pick in next week’s draft, the team faces an interesting future without their traditional talisman guaranteed to return to the lineup.
Imagining a Raptors team without Lowry seems almost sacrilegious, but it is alarmingly possible with NBA free agency opening up on August 2.
Everything regarding Lowry’s next contract is still largely speculative at this point. But if Toronto isn’t the spot, here’s where Lowry could reasonably end up next season, based on current speculation:
1. New Orleans Pelicans
NBA insider Marc Stein reported on Monday that there was “rising buzz” that the New Orleans Pelicans would be one of a host of teams that were interested in Lowry.
Everything the Pelicans do moving forward should really be involved in building a contending team around star youngster Zion Williamson, who made his first All-Star game this past season after being taken first overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.
A veteran like Lowry would offer the Pelicans stability at the point guard position in a way that fourth-year player Lonzo Ball hasn’t really been able to offer.
2. Dallas Mavericks
Since winning the NBA Finals in an upset over the Miami Heat back in 2011, the Dallas Mavericks have yet to win a single playoff series, falling in the first round five times. Though they’ve looked like they’re on the cusp of building something special the last few years, appearances can be deceiving, as the team fired GM Donnie Nelson and head coach Rick Carlisle this offseason.
Under new head coach Jason Kidd, NBA All-Star Luka Dončić needs all the help he can get, with the team falling in consecutive postseasons to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round.
Adding Lowry would help with spacing on the offensive end of the court, freeing up Dončić for more scoring opportunities. Defensively, a skilled and gritty player like Lowry could add tenacity to the Mavericks’ schemes.
Sports Illustrated’s Dalton Trigg even speculated that Lowry and former Raptor DeMar DeRozan might team up once again, with Dallas’ current roster flexibility offering the perfect environment to do so.
3. Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls are supposedly interested in Lowry, per Matt Moore of The Action Network.
Bringing in Lowry as a mentor for upcoming third-year point guard Coby White would be a sensible move after they drafted White out of UNC back in 2019 with the seventh overall pick.
For Lowry to end up in the Windy City, he’d have to consider heading to a team that finished precisely one spot ahead of his Raptors in the Eastern Conference standings. But with a lack of certainty about what Toronto’s future contention window is, playing in another major market like Chicago could be appealing for a star like Lowry.