Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry was brutally chased by three presumed NBA contenders – the Philadelphia, Miami and Los Angeles Lakers – ahead of Thursday’s trading deadline. Yet Lowry, on his 35th birthday, did not trade.
The Raptors ’decision to stay tight and keep Lowry, even though he will become an unlimited free agent at the end of the season, was perhaps the biggest surprise of a day of frantic trading time in which 16 registered deals were made.
After Toronto eventually concluded that none of the three primary bidders had met the requirements for a trading package for Lowry, two league football teams – Miami and Orlando – and the Denver Nuggets stepped out of the deadline by withdrawing the most significant moves.
Review of the most important work on Thursday:
Why Kyle Lowry is still a predator
Lowry, who is considered the only player likely to be traded this week and who could have influenced the championship chase, admitted after Wednesday’s Raptors win over the Nuggets that he could play his last game with the franchise he helped win the 2018- 19.
Amid all the activities on Thursday, Lowry’s fate remains the biggest source of intrigue. The Raptors seemed to be clearing up the registration space to accept Lowry’s offer that seemed most appropriate to them by agreeing to three jobs to send Matt Thomas to Utah, Terence Davis to Sacramento and much-coveted Norman Powell to Portland for Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood.
Then the deadline passed without trade. The Heats were reluctant to include high-ranking keeper Tyler Herro in their bids for Lowry, while the Lakers refused to include thriving scorer Talen Horton-Tucker, according to a person who knows the conversations and was not authorized to discuss them publicly. Other factors contributed to the non-trade: Any team trading for Lowry naturally wanted to be sure they could re-sign him this summer, and Raptors officials went ahead of schedule promising to send Lowry only to a destination he approved.
“We owe him that respect as a person,” Masai Ujiri, president of basketball operations in Toronto, said Thursday night.
Toronto eventually decided to take the risk of letting Lowry end the season as a Raptor, hoping to either sign him to a new job for the summer or sign a signing and trade deal that prevents the Raptors from losing perhaps the most popular player in team history without compensation.
Miami turns to Victor Oladip
After Lowry’s best offer was turned down by the Raptors, Miami instead turned to Houston to arrange for Victor Oladip, a double All-Star guard and another soon-to-be-free agent, according to a store acquaintance who was not authorized to discuss it publicly. Heat has also agreed to trade with Sacramento for versatile striker Nemanja Bjelica after acquiring veteran swingman Trevor Ariza last week.
As the deadline approached, Miami signaled it was out of the hunt for Lowry by packing veterans Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley for Oladipo, as well as giving Houston the right to replace the 2022 first-round pick with Miami.
After just two months of a rocket launcher and still recovering from a serious leg injury that had plagued him for more than a year in Indiana, Oladipo did not create nearly as much commercial interest as Houston had hoped when he acquired it from the Pacers in January. part of a four-team hit movie store that sent James Harden to the Nets.
Orlando blows it all up
Injured by injuries this season after a promising 4-0 start, Orlando broke away from his reputation by acting moderately aggressive by accepting a renewed stance and exchanging three players he had relied on for years: center Nikola Vucevic, striker Aaron Gordon and keeper Evan Fournier. Vučević, the only All-Star for 2021 split on Thursday, traded with the Chicago Bulls. Gordon is on his way to Denver, and Fournier is on his way to Boston.
After weeks of pessimism in rival offices that Vucevic would be made available, Orlando gave the deadline an early kick, packing Vucevic and Al-Farouq Aminu Bulls for Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter Jr. and two future elections in the first round. . Chicago is eager to unite Vučević with Zach LaVine, another 2021 All-Star.
Denver, which is on its way to the Western Conference finals, has solidified its list for another playoff spot, beating the Boston Celtics to reach an agreement with Magic for Gordon. The Nuggets, who also agreed to take over veteran JaVale McGee center from Cleveland, are sending veteran swingman Gary Harris, rookie keeper RJ Hampton and future first-round pick to Magic for Gordon and Gary Clark, to a person familiar with the craft who was not authorized to discuss them publicly.
Despite missing Gordon, Boston made a good commitment to shake its roster in the middle of a disappointing 21-23 season by sending two future second-round spades and veteran keeper Jeff Teague to Orlando on Fournier, according to a person with knowledge of the craft. The Celtics were better positioned than the Knicks and other interested teams to absorb Fournier’s $ 17 million salary due to the $ 28.5 million trade exception they created in the signing and trading agreement to send Gordon Hayward to Charlotte in November. Such trade exemptions allow teams to take extra pay in the trade, instead of adhering to the usual rules on adjusting salaries in the league.
Hawks and scissors replace the guard
The Los Angeles Clippers, who were interested in high-profile keepers like Lowry and Lonza Ball of the New Orleans Pelicans, addressed the need for greater play-offs by making a deal with the Atlanta Hawks to acquire four-star Rayon Rondo. .
The Clippers coveted Rondo at a free agency last fall, but lost when Rondo signed a two-year deal with the Hawks for $ 15 million. The store is asking the Clippers to send senior veteran keeper Lou Williams and two future second-division players to Atlanta for Rondo, who missed games due to injury and made a minimal blow like Hawk.
Offers and no offers
Not wanting to overdo it in her quest for Lowry, Philadelphia found a different way to fortify her backyard by gathering a three-team store with Oklahoma City and the Knicks to acquire George Hill of the Thunder. The trade cost the 76ers two future second-round picks for each team, and will also divert Austin Rivers from the Knicks to the Thunder.
Cleveland and San Antonio, as expected, failed to find comfortable stores for the two former All-Stars with big contracts, Andre Drummond ($ 28.75 million) and LaMarcus Aldridge ($ 24 million). San Antonio immediately agreed to buy a contract with Aldridge that will make him an unlimited free agent if he gets rid of the waiver, and Drummond is expected to go the same way.
The Nets did not find a store for the injured Spencer Dinwiddi. Despite a probable knee injury ending the season, Dinwiddie is expected to turn down his $ 12.3 million player option for next season and become a free agent, to whom the Nets were looking for a potential job that would add to their depth and avoid Dinwiddie losing even for what.
It was the fourth consecutive deadline for the NBA to generate a double-digit number of trades. The frenzy has dampened fears that the deadline will be quieter than usual, in part because of the league’s new playoff playoff format, which shoots 10 teams in the postseason, instead of the long-standing norm of eight.
Entering Thursday’s game, only four of the league’s 30 teams had more than four games out of competition for 10th place in each conference: Orlando, Detroit, Houston and Minnesota. Numerous league executives have said that in recent years, teams have more naturally come to their place as buyers or sellers with fewer clubs in a playoff dispute.