Raptors Looking to Package PG Kyle Lowry in Trades; Possible Trade Targets?

Brad LeClairCorrespondent IDecember 28, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 09:  Kyle Lowry #3 of the Toronto Raptors dribbles against the Los Angeles Clippers during a 102-83 Clipper win at Staples Center on December 9, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

TJ Ford, Jarrett Jack, Jerryd Bayless, those are some of the point guards Jose Calderon has passed by on the depth charts.

Originally brought in to be a backup point guard, partly due to his defensive deficiencies, Calderon's finesse and ability to run an offense just might have earned him a new contract with the Toronto Raptors.

Sam Smith of Bulls.com is reporting the Raptors may look to trade PG Kyle Lowry instead of Jose Calderon in an attempt to gain some veteran experience and size up front, as well as that long-coveted small forward they have longed for since Tracy McGrady left over 10 years ago.

The Raptors have won five straight and one of their big surprises has been Michigan State’s Alan Anderson. He’s bounced around teams in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the D-League the last seven years and basically after sitting all season is averaging 17 points in the last four games, all Toronto wins. … Though he’s out now injured, the Raptors supposedly would like to put Kyle Lowry in a trade package and keep Jose Calderon. The Raptors give up 11 more points per game when Lowry is on the court compared with Calderon.

After the Raptors started the season a poor 4-19, the club won five straight games before losing a Boxing Day battle with the San Antonio Spurs. The Raptors were in the game for about 30 minutes before the Spurs veterans took over and eventually won the game by 20 points, 100-80.

All of this winning has come without two of their best players, Lowry, and power forward Andrea Bargnani, both out with arm injuries.

The Raptors have gotten along very well without Lowry, as Calderon has averaged 10.6 assists per game as a starter over the past seven games, putting him in the elite class of passing point guards (only he and Rajon Rondo are averaging over 10 assists a game). 

Needless to say, the Raptors have a luxury some teams could only dream of. I'm sure the Lakers would have loved to have Calderon sitting on the bench ready to take over until Steve Nash returned.

Moving Lowry will not be that tough as he's a good player, a dogged defender and has a reasonable contract of reasonable length. He's definitely a great pickup for any team that needs a leader, although his ability to run an offense is still a question mark.

Among the teams that could be interested in Lowry, one team just may be the Chicago Bulls, who are missing Derrick Rose right now and really need that point guard to settle their offense down.

A perfect trade scenario might be Lowry going to the Windy City in return for Luol Deng, or a slightly bigger package that sees Carlos Boozer and Deng head to Toronto for Lowry and Bargnani. That's just hearsay and nothing more.

Another possible trade target could be the Los Angeles Lakers, although with Steve Nash back, they may be okay now at the point guard position.

The last team that might have some interest in Lowry may be the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs, who sit at a paltry 12-17, are a veteran team in need of a facelift. They could use a guy like Lowry to anchor the perimeter defense and lead the team. Darren Collison is good no doubt, but they could probably use Lowry's size and veteran savvy starting for them instead.

A player like Chris Kaman could really improve the Raptors interior, although I highly doubt the Mavs move him unless they get another big in return.

Reports are Lowry will return off the bench tonight as the Raptors take on the New Orleans Hornets. Lowry, who is more than likely going to have a ton of rust, will be brought along slowly as he tries to get himself back into midseason game shape.