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Is Kyle Lowry the missing piece for the Dallas Mavericks?

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The Mavericks willingness to offer a fully guaranteed 3 year deal may decide whether or not Lowry comes to Dallas.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

This is a strange crop of free agents. There is no Lebron James. There is no Kevin Durant. Instead, the most sought-after free agents may involve a trio of aging point guards. Chris Paul and Mike Conley will likely resign with their current teams. Kyle Lowry, on the other hand, will likely be looking for a new home at the start of free agency.

The Basics

During his age 36 season, the 6 foot point guard posted a line of 17.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game. He shot 39.6% from three and had a 44.6 effective field goal percentage in 46 games for the Toronto Raptors. It was a weird season for Lowry and the Raptors as a whole. First, the team was displaced from their home in Canada due to Covid-19 and were forced to play their home games in Tampa Bay. Secondly, the question of whether Lowry would finish the season as a Raptor loomed over the team like a dark cloud. Lowry had expressed the fact he was comfortable finishing the year in Toronto and the team was never going to make a move unless it was mutually beneficial for all parties. Rumored trades to contenders such as the Sixers and Lakers never materialized and the Raptors decided to prioritize lottery balls over late-season wins and a potential berth to the play-in tournament. It was a decision that looks brilliant in hindsight as the Raptors find themselves picking fourth in the upcoming draft. If mock drafts are to be believed, it appears more and more likely the Raptors will use that pick to select Jalen Suggs as Lowry’s replacement.

Strengths

Lowry has never been the most fleet of foot. What he lacks in athleticism, however, he more than makes up for with general basketball IQ and veteran savvy. At age 36, he may not be capable of being a teams’ primary ball-handler, but Dallas doesn’t need him to be. They need a player they can trust whenever defenses force the ball out of Luka’s hands. His shooting and general playmaking would be a welcomed addition to a team starving for both. Defensively, his days of being an above-average point of attack defender are long gone. He is, however, a more than capable team defender that excels at drawing charges and making the proper rotations.

Weaknesses

Lowrys’ age, injury history, and price tag all raise varying levels of concern. To date, his age has not significantly affected his on-court play. He hasn’t had to rely on explosiveness in order to be effective attacking and finishing near the rim. A further dip in athleticism, however, may negatively affect his ability to create separation and get into the teeth of the defense. The track record for point guards at this age isn’t great. Lowry and his productivity may fall off a cliff at any point. Whether that day arrives sooner rather than later is anyone’s guess. In addition, this is his last opportunity to cash in and he will certainly be looking for a golden parachute as his career comes to an end. Reports indicate he may be looking for a deal in the range of 3-years and $100 million dollars. Even if the annual number comes down, a team’s willingness to go the full three years may make the difference in landing Lowry. The Mavericks have to ask themselves if swapping out Tim Hardaway Jr. for Lowry will vault them into the top tier of the league. In a recent GreenRoom session, Marc Stein alluded to the fact the Mavericks could be interested in a two year deal for Lowry. The question is whether they bite the bullet and offer a fully guaranteed third year.