We waited awhile for it, but it's finally here - sort of. Grantland's chief Bill Simmons has finally published Part Two of his annual NBA Trade Value column. (Part Three coming before the next Ice Age, presumably.)
Toronto's favourite son, Kyle Lowry, got in at number 16 in the rankings. And in true Raptors tradition, Lowry doesn't get his own write-up. He has to share it instead with Portland's Damian Lillard. I will refrain from bitterness.
According to Simmons, Lowry has this going for him:
Lowry: Turns 29 in March; bargain contract (four years, $48 million); elite defender; above-average creator and rebounder; slumping on 3s this season (32.1 percent); has a slightly higher game-to-game ceiling; the second-most intimidating on-the-court point guard after CP3; formerly moody/abrasive/brooding, now mostly cheery/supportive/intense; helping to carry the torch for the Tougher-Than-Tough Philly Basketball Legacy; beloved in T-Dot.
Simmons believes that both teams would say no to a deal but that Toronto would think about it for a quarter of a second longer due to the four year age difference between Lowry and Lillard (29 versus 25). It's a fair point.
However, the Sports Guy also thinks that if he was trying to win a 7-game series, he'd go with Lowry.
If this column had gone up after the Atlanta game last Friday, everyone in Toronto would agree. As it is, with T.O spirits laid low in the midst of a three game losing streak, it remains small consolation.
For reference from Part One, DeMar DeRozan came in at number 55 this year, while Jonas Valanciunas came in at number 49. (Both had to share their write-ups as well; bitterness surging!).
I'm assuming that this will be the last we see of Raptors on the list as it heads into the top ten (unless Bruno makes a surprise appearance, right?)
So, what do you guys think?