Partway through this past season, I took a look at teams which I thought might be trade partners for the Toronto Raptors should they decide to part company with Kyle Lowry. GM Masai Ujiri, of course, made the decision to keep our point guard in hopes of re-signing him to a fresh contract. Presumably Kyle, his agent and his family are figuring out where the undersized warrior might want to call home for the next few years. Being the generous fellow that I am, I thought I’d help him out.
Kyle, let’s walk through some possibilities. How about the Memphis Grizzlies? Up and coming team (50 wins!), some excellent big men – and an owner who just cashiered his two top basketball executives because…because…he didn’t like them anymore. Pass.
New York Knicks? Legendary team with high scoring Carmelo Anthony, just went Back to the Future to ask Phil Jackson to lead them to the promised land – where they haven’t been in 40 years. And with an aging, overpaid lineup and no draft picks, they are several more seasons away from relevance. That assumes screwball owner James Dolan stays out of Jackson’s face.
What about the team which just barely punted the Raps from the playoffs? Brooklyn’s owner spent a fortune on elderly players who couldn’t make it through the second round. You really want to go there?
Los Angeles Lakers? Many championship banners, Kobe Bryant is returning next season – to lead another elderly team (Pau Gasol’s joints must creak when he walks, and Steve Nash is older than him) with no kids to get excited about. Keep looking. The other LA team has Chris Paul. You aren’t bumping him, my friend. In northern California, they’re in love with Dell Curry’s kid.
Would you want to rejoin his friend Rudy Gay with the Sacramento Kings? Sure, if you think you can turn around a 28-win team in a couple of years. Think of the fun you’ll have trying to control manchild DeMarcus Cousins.
Chicago Bulls? They have the salary cap choking contract of Carlos Boozer to cope with. Anyway, with Derrick Rose due to return, how many minutes are you going to get? Ditto the Phoenix Suns and Goran Dragic, and Denver with Ty Lawson.
Philly, Milwaukee, Orlando, the Utah Jazz? If you thought playing on Toronto’s 34-win team of 2 seasons ago wasn’t any fun, wait till you get a load of these guys. Clinical depression could result.
What do the Cavaliers, Timberwolves, and Pistons have in common? They’re all coming off losing seasons, and none has a coach. Next!
New Orleans has Anthony Davis, but Jrue Holiday will be back injury-free and starting at point.
That’s enough. The good teams, like San Antonio and OKC, have point guards (Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook), the bad teams…well, why would you want to join any of them?
I think we’ve just run in a circle. Kyle, welcome (back) to Toronto.