Ken Berger of CBS Sports has this bomb:
In addition to the Lakers, Knicks and Nets, the Timberwolves, Warriors and Celtics are among the teams that have inquired about a deal with the Raptors for Lowry, league sources say. Raptors GM Masai Ujiri has been encouraged by the team’s recent play, as Toronto has gone 9-3 since the trade with two of the losses coming against the Spurs But despite the Raptors’ fourth-place status in the pitiful East, Ujiri is determined to take the long-term view. With the deadline less than seven weeks away, Ujiri is said to have multiple deals he could do for Lowry that would involve receiving an expiring contract in return or slotting him into another team’s trade exception. Taking back future salary would come at a high price, i.e. a first-round pick.
Why the hell would Danny Ainge be interested in Kyle Lowry when Rajon Rondo is nearly ready for action?
Aww, shit. Here come the Rondo-will-be-traded-because-he’s-an-a-hole talk.
Just about one year ago there was speculation about the Celtics interest in Lowry. It made sense at the time because Rondo had just torn his ACL.
Lowry will be a free-agent. Unless Ainge sees him as a long-term fit in Boston, there’s no sense in trading for him.
I find it hard to believe that Lowry can be had for an expiring contract (Keith Bogans is a fit). He’s been playing well of late (17 ppg, 8.9 apg over his last 10 games). The Raptors reportedly had a deal in place with the Knicks (for Ray Felton, Metta World Peace, and either a first-round pick in 2018, or Iman Shumpert/Tim Hardaway Jr.) that was ultimately nixed by Jim Dolan. I gotta think they can do better than an expiring deal or trade exception as Berger reports.
Berger also says, “the Rockets now expect to keep center Omer Asik past next month’s deadline and beyond.”