The Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly out of the running for point guard Kyle Lowry, an impending unrestricted free agent, after reaching an agreement with the Boston Celtics to acquire the first overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com provided the update on the Lowry sweepstakes Sunday. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported that the Sixers and Celtics are expected to finalize the deal for the No. 1 pick Monday and that Philly will select Washington point guard Markelle Fultz on Thursday.
In May, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Lowry was “interested” in playing for the Sixers and the front office was planning to offer him a “lucrative contract” in the offseason.
It’s an expansive option Philly no longer needs to consider assuming there are no last-minute issues with the Boston trade before it becomes final.
Fultz averaged 23.2 points, 5.9 assists, 5.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks across 25 games in his only collegiate season at Washington. His strong across-the-board production with the Huskies puts him in line to take on a massive role right away, eliminating the need for another point guard.
Michael Kaskey-Blomain of 247Sports considers it a win-win situation for the 76ers:
Meanwhile, Lowry should still command a max contract in free agency from either the Raptors or another organization.
Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic passed along comments Toronto president Masai Ujiri made about the situation last month.
“It’s our jobs to try and get Kyle to come back and do it the best way that we possibly can,” he said. “We want him back, he’s been a huge part of the success here, but what is to say Kyle doesn’t call me five days from now and says, ‘You know what, I’m not coming.’ Then whatever I’ve said here doesn’t mean anything. So yes, there is a domino effect there, and we have to make the right decision.”
The New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers are among the other teams that could look to upgrade at point guard during the summer.
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