Transactions that should have happened by the 2021 NBA trade deadline | Launderer report

 Transactions that should have happened by the 2021 NBA trade deadline |  Launderer report

Chris Oโ€™Meara / Associated Press

When Kyle Lowry scored two points after Wednesday’s win over the Denver Nuggets, it felt like the end of an era for him and the Toronto Raptors. Between the team’s struggles and the 35-year-old’s impending free agency, all arrows seemingly pointed to a divorce on expiry.

“It was a little weird tonight not knowing what the next step would be,” Lowry said afterwards, by Mark Medina of USA today. โ€œJust with the understanding, there are things that could be done in front of me and the other guys in our team and the organization. “

The Raptors were active by the deadline. They traded Norman Powell, Terence Davis and Matt Thomas. They “seriously engaged” the Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers in Lowry trade talks, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, and the Los Angeles Clippers joined the pursuit at one point, per Barry Jackson from Miami Herald.

But nothing ever happened, which seems like a missed opportunity for everyone but maybe the Lakers more than anyone. The defending champions are literally injured with LeBron James (ankle) and Anthony Davis (calf) stuck on the sidelines. They haven’t received the expected lifts from offseason imports Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell, and their supporting cast as a whole has lacked consistency.

Lowry could have provided that stability, plus championship experience, punch creation, floor space, and tenacious defense. He would have hit the ground as LA’s third star and perhaps cemented this club as a team to beat. It is not known what the trade would have cost the Lakers, but they would have been reluctant to move Talen Horton-Tucker, per Charania.

Horton-Tucker is an intriguing 20-year-old with a bright future ahead of him. He’s not someone who should have stopped LA from making a deal with Lowry, especially since he’s about to enter restricted free agency and may not be able to return. to the Lakers.

While no one won the Lowry toss, the other contenders all pivoted in different directions. The Heat added Victor Oladipo. The Sixers have come for George Hill. The Clippers brought in Rajon Rondo. The Lakers did nothing.

Going from potentially adding an All-Star that meets some of your greatest needs to adding someone is a big disappointment. For Toronto, a few more months with Lowry could be good for #TheFeelz, but the split could come this summer and see the Raptors lose an icon for nothing.

Both clubs would have been much better off had they negotiated a blockbuster Lowry.

All statistics are current through March 25 and are courtesy of and Basketball Reference, unless otherwise noted. Salary information via Basketball Insiders.

Zach Buckley covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, @ZachBuckleyNBA.


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