We continue to examine trading Kyle Lowry, rather than losing him for nothing following this season. Today’s deal would be the most clear-cut example of sacrificing today for tomorrow (or tanking, in the vernacular) I’ve yet offered.
Trade Candidates: Orlando Magic’s Victor Oladipo and Andrew Nicholson
Analysis: Oladipo is a rookie shooting guard, drafted second overall out of Indiana. Despite being slightly undersized, he’s justified that high selection, averaging over 13 points per game while starting 31 games for the rebuilding Magic. He’s quick, heady and a solid defender. Andrew Nicholson is a Canadian “tweener” (I think he’s more of an smallish Power Forward than a big SF) who’s in his second season out of St. Bonaventure. Andrew started playing hoops relatively late in life, and I think it’s fair to say he’s still catching up. He’s highly intelligent, and by all accounts a hard worker, so I like his chances of sticking in the NBA. Whether he’ll ever be a starter is debatable.
Verdict: The trade works financially to an astonishing degree, but the Machine says the Raps would “lose” 6 games, while the Magic would “win” 4 more. I’ll buy that, as the Raps would be left with a gaping hole at point guard. Even losing these two, Orlando is awash in young talent (Harkless, Vucevic, Harris, Lamb), and will grab another prize in the draft lottery. The presence of Lowry will certainly help their kids’ maturation process.
Likelihood: 5%. As an anti-tanker, I’ve got wax in my ears with most of these futuristic trades, but I admit this one piques my interest. However, much would have to change on Orlando’s end before they would sign off on this deal, as the loss of Oladipo in particular would be a shock to their fans. Kyle would have to agree to a sign-&-trade contract , so the Magic could lock him up for multiple seasons. They would need a place to dump incumbent PG Jameer Nelson, which they’ve been trying to do for some time without success. Furthermore, Orlando would love to be unencumbered by Glen Davis, and might insist upon the Raps taking him in exchange for Tyler Hansbrough and Steve Novak.
WWMD? [What will Masai do?]: This deal has a lot of moving parts, and if it’s going to happen at all, will likely need another team’s involvement. However, if anyone on the planet can make a deal as complex as this come to fruition, it’s Masai Ujiri. He has said he doesn’t want to end up “in the middle”, i.e., neither contending nor tanking, and this deal would surely achieve that goal.
OK, Raptors & Magic fans, what do you think? Let’s get a dialogue started with your Comments.