The Philadelphia 76ers are two players away from contention. No, you did not read that incorrectly, the team is actually that talented. Nevermind their 28 wins from 2016 but if you were to point to that then please make sure you focus on the 1o wins in 2015. How can anyone dispute an 18-game turnaround, especially when the 76ers were without their top players for most of the season? They may have missed the playoff for the past 5 years but their hometown kid, Kyle Lowry can change all that with a signature.
Lowry has stated that he will opt out of his player option with the Toronto Raptors this summer and become a free agent.
This may not be major news as players have done this in order to get a bigger contract, however, this should be a major concern for the Raptors and the 76ers. On the Raptors side, Lowry has to be disgusted that he’s the 4th highest paid player on the team after DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas and DeMarre Carroll. Lowry is an All-Star alongside DeRozan but the Raptors have not had great success in the playoffs. Despite making the playoffs for the 4th straight year, Lowry and Co have not made it past the Eastern Conference Finals.
It’s time for a change on both fronts.
Lowry wants to win now and while the Raptors may have a better chance than the 76ers at this point, the team from the City of Brotherly Love has a bigger upside. Name another team other than the 76ers that have a clear path ahead of them. The Los Angeles Lakers are a young team on the move but they are too busy trying to step away from the Kobe Bryant shadow and look for another big name player. The 76ers are built off draft picks with one of the bust young nucleus in the league and possibly the best frontcourt in a year or two.
All that’s missing is a PG to get them over the hump.
Lowry is a Philadelphia native and to be able to come home has always been a dream of his. The 76ers are no longer the laughingstock of the league as the ‘Trust The Process” era is over and winning seems to be the motto now. The 76ers improved from 10 wins in 2015 to 28 in 2016 and that was done with a young cast that included Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, T.J. McConnell and Jahlil Okafor. What happens when the team finally trades Okafor for a SG, Ben Simmons takes the court and Brett Brown learns the art of lineup rotations? Oh, and the 76ers could possibly end up with 2 Lottery picks this year. Yes, the team is clearly on the rise and Lowry would be foolish to not give them a serious consideration.
The Raptors have had their chances but playoff success has not matched their payroll. Their best option is to hope that Lowry gives them a discount but after watching his backcourt partner DeRozan sign for $27M+ a season he will want the same. If the Raptors cannot do so then the 76ers have the cap space to make him happy.
A move like this would put the 76ers in the 2017-18 playoffs for sure. A team that finished with 28 wins with their best players on the sidelines could be dynamic with a starting five that includes Lowry, Simmons, Embiid, Saric and whatever player they decide to draft or trade for to fill the vacant SG spot. 28 wins compared to 51 is a steep hill but the 76ers are missing that one player that can give them that veteran leadership.
Lowry is the man.