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NBA Rumors: Lowry Has Free Agency Options

Kyle Lowry will have options when he becomes a free agent this summer … Pelicans won’t be players in free agency this summer … Ricky Davis released from D-League

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Lowry Has Free Agency Options

[Masai] Ujiri passed on a chance to trade [Kyle] Lowry at the deadline, and wants to sign him to a long-term extension this summer. Lowry could command $10-12 million a year on the market, especially in a summer where the Los Angeles Lakers have cap space and a running mate for Kobe Bryant.

[Daryl] Morey and [Kevin] McHale still felt strongly about Lowry and his talent, and made a bid at the trade deadline to bring him back to the Rockets, league sources said.

via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports

Lowry has had a breakout season, showing tremendous growth on and off the court. This summer, he’ll be rewarded for his maturation with a new contract since he’s an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

The Raptors could’ve traded Lowry prior to February’s deadline, ensuring that they’d receive something back for the veteran point guard. Instead, Toronto decided to keep Lowry for their playoff run with the hope that they could re-sign him after the season is over.

But the Raptors will certainly have competition to ink Lowry. As Woj mentions, the Lakers and Rockets are two teams that could express interest in the stat-stuffing floor general. Houston apparently tried to trade for Lowry prior to the deadline, and L.A. could see Lowry as a piece that helps them return to the playoffs after this dreadful lottery-bound season.

League sources have also speculated that the HEAT could emerge as a potential suitor for Lowry, depending on what happens with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh this summer. If they decide to opt out and ink new long-term deals, it would create some cap space for Miami and the HEAT could make a notable free agent like Lowry an attractive offer. It might not be as much as he could get from other teams, but he may be tempted to play alongside the Big Three and have a chance to contend for a championship. Lowry would make Miami a much scarier team, giving them a significant upgrade over Mario Chalmers at point guard.

Pelicans Won’t Splurge on Free Agent This Summer

[Dell] Demps said in free agency this upcoming summer, they are not likely to pursue a maximum-money free agent like they did last year when they offered a four-year, $44 million contract to swingman Tyreke Evans before acquiring him in a sign-and-trade deal from the Sacramento Kings.

”Last year was our opportunity to go on the free-agent market,’’ Demps said. “We’re very far under the luxury tax and we’ll still have opportunities to use money to add players to our group. But we’re currently not going to be a cap team; we’re not going to be able to go get a max free agent. And so our plan is to continuously add pieces to our group to make our team the best possible team we can be.’’

via John Reid of NOLA.com

As Demps said, last summer was the Pelicans’ chance to make splashy moves and they did just that by signing Tyreke Evans and trading for Jrue Holiday. Now, the team doesn’t have nearly as much flexibility going forward so they can’t turn around and hand out lucrative contracts for a second consecutive summer.

New Orleans has $54,088,513 committed in guaranteed contracts for next season and that number could reach $59,262,250 after several options are picked up.

The team must also be smart about how they spend their money going forward, as they’ll have to lock up Anthony Davis in the near future and may want to re-sign some of their role players such as Al-Farouq Aminu, Greg Stiemsma and Jason Smith, all of whom are unrestricted free agents after this season is over.

The Pelicans can continue to build through the draft and trade market, but attracting marquee free agents is no longer a realistic option. At this point, they’re locked into a core of Davis, Evans, Holiday, Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson for the next few years.

Ricky Davis Released from D-League Team

The Erie BayHawks have released forward Ricky Davis from their active roster, allowing him to explore other career opportunities.

via Sportando

This is somewhat of a surprise, considering Davis had appeared in 40 games for the BayHawks this season. The 34-year-old has been trying to make an NBA comeback, using his stint in the D-League to audition for teams in the league.

This season in Erie, Davis was averaging 13.1 points and 4.6 rebounds. The 12-year NBA veteran had a number of impressive performances throughout the course of the year, recording a season-high 31 points in a Feb. 11th win.

Prior to playing in the D-League, Davis had overseas stints in Turkey, China and France so it’s possible that he could be open to joining another international team.

Over the course of his 12-year career, Davis averaged 13.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists. He earned nearly $43,000,000 during his NBA career, not counting what he has made from other professional stints overseas and in the D-League.

“It has been great having the opportunity to play against Ricky in the NBA and work with him this past season with BayHawks,” Erie General Manager Allan Houston said. “I appreciate the energy and passion he played with, and his willingness to use his experience to help other players.”


Alex Kennedy is the Managing Editor of Basketball Insiders and this is his 10th season covering the NBA. He is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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