For most of the year, people expected the Toronto Raptors to trade away Kyle Lowry at some point in the season. He's aging and will demand a lucrative contract next summer and they would be better off moving him now that they're not exactly contenders.
And, even though he was reportedly pretty close to joining the Lakers, the team's reluctance to include young guard Talen Horton-Tucker in any trade package for him was a deal-breaker for Toronto.
The Lakers Didn't Want To Give Up Talen Horton-Tucker For Kyle Lowry
“In talking to now three NBA front-office executives, all of them said a resounding 'No' about the Lakers including THT in any potential trade for Kyle Lowry. THT is liked that much by scouts. And the Lakers love his potential and upside. Yes, the Raptors would want a young talent like Horton-Tucker and yes the Lakers are hesitant,” beat writer Broderick Turner of LA Times reported.
Masai Ujiri Says The Raptors Valued Lowry Too Much
Toronto Raptors' President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri admitted that he was surprised by the fact that no team was willing to meet their asking price for such an experienced and impactful player like Lowry:
"To be honest, I viewed him as somebody that could go and put a stamp on what you're trying to do this year. I know if he went to those places, I know what (that could've done), I've lived it, I've seen it. We're going to be biassed, you always are with your players, but for Kyle, we're extremely, extremely biassed because of what he does and what he stands for... If I valued him too much, hey, that's what I believe in," Ujiri said.
Masai also said that they wanted to put him in a situation to succeed, which limited the number of teams they could trade him to. Then again, it's hard to think that any contending team would overpay for half-a-season rental on a 35-year-old player.