Is Kyle Lowry feeling homesick?
The All-Star point guard, who plans to opt out of the final year of his contract with the Toronto Raptors and become an unrestricted free agent this summer, is reportedly interested in a potential return to his native Philadelphia.
Lowry has been interested in playing for his hometown 76ers "for some time," sources told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and that interest is reportedly mutual. Sources also told Pompey that the Sixers have long planned to offer Lowry a "lucrative" contract this summer.
Adding fuel to the speculatory fire is the fact that Sixers president Bryan Colangelo was the general manager who brought Lowry to Toronto in a trade with the Houston Rockets back in 2012. According to Pompey, the two have remained "good friends" since then.
Toronto can still offer Lowry more years and money than any other team, and president Masai Ujiri said the Raptors will try to retain him. Signing with the 76ers would also appear to run counter to Lowry's insistence that all he's looking for at this point in his career is a ring, as well as a recent report that he may be looking to jump to the Western Conference.
Even as they've assembled an enviable collection of assets - including potential superstars in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, and two more possible top-five draft picks this year - the team's youth, spotty health, and reliance on internal development makes future contention anything but a certainty. Adding the 31-year-old Lowry, at a position of dire need, would bring them closer to that goal, but would also muddle their timeline some.
Still, it's easy to understand why the possibility would be appealing. There's a case to be made that the Raptors have already maxed out their potential, as a second-tier pseudo-contender. The Sixers, if things break right, could have a championship ceiling.