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Monday, 11 January 2021

A New Direction: Trading Kyle Lowry #RPTZFLZ #WeTheNorth

      Last night's loss to the Golden State Warriors and while we're at it, all the losses the Raptors have suffered this far are indicative of a fact that a lot of analysts have yet to point out or admit out loud.  The cold hard fact that Kyle Lowry is getting in the way of the growth of this team.  Yeah, I know.  Shock and awe, right?  It's true though, and I'm not saying he's doing it on purpose.  Matter of fact, there are few teams that could benefit from his disruptive nature and he just might benefit too.
     The New Orleans Pelicans: Their youth and athleticism are complemented by a few experienced veterans at key positions but it may not be enough to get them over the hump and their hump is at that first round.
     The Good:  Kyle Lowry is built to win in extremely strenuous situations and there isn't a team in the league with championship aspirations that doesn't need that type of contribution.  Specifically, his ability to get to the line at will and identify and control pace are talents required in deep playoff runs.  On a team like the Pelicans, his leadership would be effective regardless of his role in the rotation.
      The Bad:  He might not be enough.  Van Gundy is an excellent head coach and Kyle Lowry would be his extension on the floor but the mark of a championship team is the ability of its individual players to sacrifice personally, on and off the court.  Kyle Lowry would be a great start toward that goal but the Pelicans management might not be willing to give up promising young players for a one-shot run at a championship.
      The Denver Nuggets: Having played the spoiler role last season to the favourite Los Angeles Clippers, the future was looking bright but they seem to be regressing enough to investigate adding some help.
      The Good: The Nuggets are one of those teams that is the epitome of the NBA saying "one player away".  And they most likely are.  They have a player in Jokic who's a lot like Marc Gasol in being able to control traffic and distribute and set screens that helped guards, like Lowry get to the lane and score or draw fouls.  The Nuggets have already been to a conference final and are hungry to get back, so there shouldn't be any hangups as far as players making sacrifices.
      The Bad: Denver isn't the most popular free agent destination, so even if Lowry were to end up on this team and they were able to make a trip to the finals, there's a good chance it wouldn't happen again for a while.  A commitment to the Nuggets has to be long term and I don't know about Lowry's willingness to commit to a team that might end up stagnating.
       The Los Angeles Clippers:  They're good, but to win a championship they would have to get better.
       The Good: This team would be the premium version of the Toronto Raptors championship team.  Lowry would be the clinching addition to a team that is still lacking true on-court leadership.  His contribution wouldn't need to be as significant until they get closer to the end of the season and it would mean less pressure on the Clippers' big two.
        The Bad: You're most likely getting back Patrick Beverly, unless you can find a third team to take him on.  That's no knock on Beverly, I just don't see him being of use to a rebounding team and I'm sure he kinda wants to win sooner rather than later.
        Kyle Lowry is probably gonna start to feel like it's time to move on, and I'm sure Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster would work hard to put him in a situation where he could still compete.  I think every fan is at the point where their past giving them the benefit of the doubt, it's just a matter of whether or not Kyle Lowry and management are thinking the same


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