When the Kyle Lowry trade rumors were hovering over the Toronto Raptors, Rob Pelinka and the Los Angeles Lakers seemed like a natural landing spot. Not only could they add another star to compete alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but they had players like Dennis Schroder and Talen Horton-Tucker to send to the Raptors in order to get a deal done.
Ultimately, there were varying reports with regards to how interested the Lakers truly were in getting a deal done. The Athletic (subscription required) reported that giving away Horton-Tucker, who has bumped his scoring average up to 8.7 points per game in his second year as a pro, was a deal-breaker.
The Lakers got their first taste of Lowry in Los Angeles last night, which turned into a 121-114 domination at the hands of Lowry and Pascal Siakam. Despite studs like Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and Gary Trent Jr. all missing the game, the Raptors were able to pull out a win thanks to Lowry.
Lowry led the team with 37 points and 11 assists while drilling eight 3-point attempts, a number that no Laker has reached this season. A fired-up Lowry came out with something to prove against an injured LeBron James and the rest of the Lakers, and he made his presence felt.
Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors were on fire last night.
Horton-Tucker will have a very long, productive career in this league, but the Lakers needed someone like Lowry to keep the team stable after James and Anthony Davis went down with injuries. Who gives a rip about draft picks and rotational guards? You won one title with LeBron and have some of the pieces needed for a second! Pelinka needed to pull the trigger.
Horton-Tucker was beaten up by Lowry, who was getting to the basket at will and couldn’t miss from 3-point range. Even as he kept amping up the degree of difficulty, Horton-Tucker’s wingspan did little to help. Danny Green, he is not.
Lowry could very well leave in the offseason for a contender, and the Raptors might have to put up with the fact that a franchise icon was lost for nothing after no trade materialized, but Lowry is still trying to get this team into the play-in. Toronto may well regret not trading Lowry eventually, but the Lakers are unquestionably regretting this.
The Toronto Raptors are hanging on by a thread, and Lowry is going to do everything in his power to keep this team in the hunt. Instead of helping the Lakers escape the play-in tournament and compete for a championship, Lowry is eviscerating them on the perimeter, while Horton-Tucker is…doing whatever it is he does.
We keep Lowry and don’t swap him with THT? I’ll gladly take that!