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Pursuing Kyle Lowry, extending Robert Covington, and the Sixers cap situation

Pursuing Kyle Lowry, extending Robert Covington, and the Sixers cap situation
Published On: Wed, Jun 14
Dec 13, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) dribbles down court as Philadelphia 76ers forward Robert Covington (33) defends in the third quarter at Air Canada Centre. Raptors beat 76ers 96 - 76. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

The question of whether the 76ers should pursue Kyle Lowry in free agency has been a source of debate Philadelphia of late, in large part because Lowry announced his intention to opt out of the final year of his contract, which would make him a free agent on July 1st.

The actual impact of this announcement is virtually meaningless, if for no other reason than anybody who gave the situation an even passing thought knew Lowry would do so. Lowry is on the final year of the 4 year, $48 million contract he signed in the summer of 2014, when at that time he had just had a career year, at the age of 28, with averages of 17.9 points, 7.4 assists, and 4.7 rebounds per game.

Lowrys case was unique in how late he peaked. Heading into that contract year Lowry had averages of just 10.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game, and had averaged just 11.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 6.4 assists the previous season. Whether or not the new and improved Lowry was the one you could count on going forward was still in question, and this depressed his value on the market.

Because Lowry continued to improve so deep into his career his contract became one of the better contracts in the NBA, drastically underpaid under the previous CBA and downright criminal when the cap jumped as a result of the new national television deals. Lowrys new contract will likely start around $35 million for 2017-18. Opting out of his $12 million was the most obvious decision in the NBA.

More important than Lowrys announcement are the persistent rumors that the Sixers will have interest in Lowry when he does in fact become an unrestricted free agent, rumors in his interest in coming home, and of the relationship between Bryan Colangelo and the point guard who almost single-handedly saved his reputation in Toronto. Whether or not the Raptors would offer him their version of the max (~5 years, $200+ million), and whether he would give that up to accept the Sixers offer, which would be $50 million or so less, is another discussion. This question is simpler: should the Sixers pursue Lowry?

Read the complete news article here...


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