Lakers Should Target $85 Million Former Champion Amid Potential Buyout

The Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to several trade targets.

They are viewed as frontrunners for Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray. Those talks have hit a bit of a stalemate regarding compensation, though. Los Angeles also missed out on rumored target Terry Rozier, whom the Charlotte Hornets traded to the Miami Heat.

But the Lakers could still look to benefit from that deal, namely with guard Kyle Lowry. The Heat sent him to the Hornets in the deal.

Charlotte is floundering and Lowry is expected to secure a release.

“I can’t say that’s something we would look to accomplish right away,” former Lakers and current Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak told reporters on January 23. “Maybe we wait to see the trade deadline pass, rather than have him relocate and start something that may not take place. I think that’s probably what we’ll do but don’t know for sure. That seems to make the most sense.”

Kyle up and over everyone… he’s got 6 of our first 11 points

Tune in on Bally Sports Sun 📺 pic.twitter.com/rYAYgIlaVB

— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 2, 2024

Lowry is averaging 8.2 points, 4.0 assists, and 3.5 rebounds this season.

The 37-year-old point guard carries a $29.6 million salary in the final year of a three-year, $85 million contract.

He’s also connecting on 38.5% of his 4.4 looks from beyond the arc, a potentially appealing note for a Lakers team looking to make a deep playoff run. They rank 20th in three-point efficiency and 30th in attempts this season.

It’s also difficult to replicate what Lowry brings.

Erik Spoelstra Talks Up Kyle Lowry’s Intangibles

Lowry is a six-time All-Star and was an All-NBA selection in 2015-16. He also helped bring the Toronto Raptors their first championship in franchise history. But he is a hustle player at his core.

He ranks third in charges drawn per game and 16th in defensive loose balls recovery percentage, per NBA.com

Kyle Lowry HUSTLES for the STEAL + calls the timeout so the Heat keep the ball 🔥🔥🔥

This is a Kyle Lowry appreciation post.

Not only for the hustle he provides EVERY NIGHT, the leadership in the locker room, but also his willingness to accept his role and NEVER COMPLAIN.… pic.twitter.com/lCntggzA8M

— JJJMuse (@JaimeJaquezMuse) January 16, 2024

“We all pushed to get Kyle here, and it was for a reason. Kyle, you can never define him by his by his stats his whole career. And particularly as an ultimate winner, you define him by whether your team is winning or not and how it was functioning,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra told the media on January 23.

“He’ll be just fine he’ll find his next spot, whatever that is – whether it’s Charlotte or somewhere else. And he’ll continue to make an impact.”

Lakers Could Face Stiff Competition for Potential Target Kyle Lowry

If Lowry does get bought out, the Lakers could have to contend with a pair of formidable landing spots in the East. One could be the Philadelphia 76ers, Lowry’s hometown team. He also starred at nearby Villanova.

The other is the Chicago Bulls, who roster Lowry’s friend and long-time teammate in Toronto, DeMar DeRozan.

DeRozan is once again a rumored trade target for the Lakers.

Perhaps adding Lowry would allow the Lakers to not only keep him from joining one of their competitors but also as a way to lure DeRozan to Los Angeles. If not by the trade deadline, then it could be a headstart on this offseason when both players will be free agents.

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