Lakers Nation Free Agent Of The Week: Kyle Lowry
With the Los Angeles Lakers entering the off-season with plenty of cap room, we’re examining potential free agents and their fit with the team. Last week, we began our look at with Lance Stephenson. This week’s edition features Toronto Raptors point guard, Kyle Lowry.
2013-14 Statistics: 17.9 points, 7.4 assists, 1.5 steals, and 4.7 rebounds.
Lowry helped guide the Raptors to their first playoff berth since 2008. Following the mid-season trade that sent Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings, Lowry emerged as one of the team’s leaders. Compared to 2012-13 when Gay was on the roster, Lowry saw 6.5 more minutes a game and became the team’s second leading scorer behind DeMar DeRozan.
He established himself as a top-tier point guard and should be looked at by a variety of teams during the summer.
Lowry can score in a variety of ways. He excels at attacking the rim especially in pick-and-roll situations. However, one flaw in his game is his inability to create for teammates. Although he was eighth in the league in assists per game, the majority of his assists came from moving the ball to the next man.
Regardless, Lowry is a dangerous offensive player. If opposing defenses try to cut off Lowry’s path to the rim, he is capable of punishing them with a three. Over the last season, he made the fourth most three pointers among point guards.
In addition, he is comfortable playing off the ball and comes off screens extremely well. His ability to move without the ball only makes him that much more lethal. When paired with Kobe Bryant, this would give the offense some flexibility as both players need the ball to be productive.
One of Lowry’s greatest strengths is his hustle. Lowry commits himself wholly on both ends of the ball and can be described as a ball-hawk. He isn’t afraid to get into the opposing players’ faces and cause some havoc. His tenacity on defense would be welcomed presence in the Laker backcourt.
His 1.5 steals per game average is higher than any Laker over the past season. The Lakers struggled on defense throughout the season and could use someone with Lowry’s defensive presence.
Another way Lowry’s defensive effort helps him comes in his rebounding. Over the season, he averaged 4.7 rebounds a game which was the second most by a point guard. The Lakers ranked 25th in team rebounding and can definitively benefit from a point guard that can rebound as well as Lowry does.
2013-14 Salary: $6,210,000
Because of his tremendous season with the Raptors, Lowry is expected to demand a significant raise. While he can be considered one of the top point guards in the league, he doesn’t deserve a max contract of around $16 million a year. A more realistic range for Lowry is in the $9-11 million range.
Landing With Lakers Odds: 10 to 1
The Lakers could potentially have a need at the point guard position. Steve Nash confessed the Lakers cant rely on him to be completely healthy and be consistent producer.
The front office must decide how they want to fill in the gap. With one year left on Nash’s contract, the Lakers are going to be looking to find their point guard of the future. The draft offers some interesting prospects as Dante Exum might be available when the Lakers pick. Chances are the Lakers could want to invest in a less riskier option with the veteran Lowry who seems to have moved past his injury woes.
MY NBA Draft.com DANTE EXUM