We’re less than 24 hours from the “Rajon Rondo has a torn ACL” announcement and I’m already drowning in columns, opinions and anal leakage about how the Celtics could, should and might move forward this season.
One thing is certain – the Celtics lack a true point guard. There are multiple reports stating the Raptors are prepared to move Kyle Lowry.
Celts, meantime, have shown exploratory interest in Gay but they’re $1.3M over tax line. Adding long-term money at this juncture? Unlikely
Sense I get is it’s far likelier Celts pursue Kyle Lowry and his cap-friendly contract. But do Celts have assets to land Raps PG? We’ll see
Danny Ainge seen as a try-anything dice roller but trading legends like Pierce & KG way harder than shopping Rondo. Skeptical Danny’s ready
Conversely, could the Celtics find a way to shed a couple of spare parts for a viable point guard to replace Rondo and stitch their core group back together for one more run? The Raptors are almost certain to trade either Jose Calderon ($10.6 million expiring contract) or Kyle Lowry (only $1 million guaranteed next season). Either one would give Boston a chance to ride it out with their current group and deal with the tough decisions around the draft or in July.
The line between “Boston doesn’t have the assets to get Lowry” and “Bryan Colangelo really loves Courtney Lee!” is a thin one.
I’m not here to advocate for or against a trade for Kyle Lowry, in part because I don’t know much about him. Here’s the ESPN Insider scouting report on the 26 year old point guard:
+ Tough, aggressive guard who pressures the ball and defends. Loves taking charges.
+ Likes to push the tempo but can get out of control. Improved outside shooter.
+ Good athlete who draws fouls. On the short side. Excellent rebounder for size.
Lowry had a career year in Kevin McHale’s point guard-friendly system, but he clashed with the coach anyway — partly because his previously ferocious defense slackened noticeably last season. Normally among the best defensive point guards in basketball, Lowry’s defensive metrics were pretty ho-hum last season. Synergy rated him below average, and opposing point guards had a 15.7 PER against him, although the Rockets still gave up fewer points with him on the court.
The one positive at that end was how much he helped on the glass — Lowry’s rebound rate (8.2) led all point guards. Nonetheless, one suspects that in Dwyane Casey’s system, he’ll be asked to defend more and freelance on offense less.
Sounds like a guy that Doc Rivers could work with. So why would Toronto want to move such a talent:
Lowry has had an up-and-down season in his first year in Toronto after being traded from the Houston Rockets. The 26-year-old has been effective coming off the bench, averaging 13.5 points, 5.8 assists and 4.5 rebounds to go along with a stellar PER of 21.31. However, he has also battled some injuries and reportedly has not made many friends in his new digs.
Lowry is an attractive piece because of his cap-friendly deal. He’s set to earn $5.75 million this year, but according to ShamSports, is only guaranteed $1 million next season if waived on or before July 15.
A couple things to keep in mind; he’s played for three teams (Memphis, Houston and Toronto) in his 6 years and he’s never averaged more than 6.7 assists per season.
What would it take to get Lowry from Toronto? So far, Courtney Lee is the only name popping up in rumors.