Toronto Raptors Rumors: Kyle Lowry trade doesn’t make sense

Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Rumors are circulating that the Toronto Raptors offered Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas for Mike Conley and Marc Gasol. A trade proposal that doesn’t make sense on multiple levels.

With the trade deadline only days away, rumors are flying around everywhere. The Toronto Raptors are no different. Just recently, it was reported by Jake Fischer that the Raptors have offered Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Mike Conley and Marc Gasol.

A trade that, to be frank, doesn’t make sense. The logistics don’t make sense from a Raptors perspective, and the overall framework doesn’t make sense for the Grizzlies.

Why the Raptors say no

Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are comparable to Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas. At this moment, they might even be better. However, this isn’t a video game and you can’t move players seamlessly in and out of lineups without consequences.

Kyle Lowry is the main hub of the Raptors offense. He’s not their best player, but he might be their most important. When Lowry is on the floor Toronto has an offensive rating of 115.6, a figure that would tie the Golden State Warriors for first in the NBA. When he sits, the number plummets to 103.9, a figure that would rank below the Knicks and Cavaliers.

Conley might be the better player, but it’s hard to believe he can have that large of an impact immediately. He’d likely be able to step into Lowry’s role eventually, but expecting him to run an entirely different offense at a league-best level is unrealistic.

Gasol for JV is an easier swap. Centers aren’t asked to facilitate the offense in the same way. Swapping the two would be a net-win for Toronto. However, the size of the upgrade is marginal. Gasol isn’t the same player he used to be and has many of the same deficiencies as JV. He’d certainly want to start and you might even risk upsetting Serge Ibaka.

If Toronto traded away Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas in a win-now deal, the upgrade would need to be significant. Conley and Gasol aren’t significant enough at this time.

Why the Grizzlies say no

An even harder question to answer, why exactly would the Grizzlies say yes to this deal? A team focussed on rebuilding is going to trade away two franchise icons for a 32-year-old point guard and a center on an oversized deal? For Memphis, this deal makes even less sense than Toronto.

The report states that Memphis rejected Toronto’s immediate offer, asking for OG Anunoby and draft assets. Understandable, but why would Masai Ujiri offer a trade he fully understood Memphis has no intention of accepting?

Conflicting Reports

Did Ujiri offer the team’s second best player in a deal that had no way of being completed? Michael Grange is reporting that the trade talks might not have been initiated by Toronto, and instead, it was the Grizzlies who picked up the phone. If that’s the case, why are Lowry and JV being mentioned as the two trade targets?

It feels as if each side is very eager to leak their side of the story. Who you believe, is likely dependent on which team you root for.

Next. Which Raptors could be traded before the deadline?. dark

This trade doesn’t make sense on many levels. Toronto shouldn’t offer it. Memphis shouldn’t accept it. The idea of it being leaked to increase the market for Conley and Gasol does make some sense.

Hopefully, this trade was never offered and is instead a smokescreen put out by the Memphis front office. If it was…. yikes.