Kyle Lowry trade rumors: Raptors star responds to being included in talks for Grizzlies' Mike Conley, Marc Gasol
Toronto also reportedly offered big man Jonas Valanciunas in a package for Memphis' two veteran stars
The Eastern Conference is absolutely loaded at the top with several teams looking to make a Finals run this season.
With that in mind, it appears that the Toronto Raptors are looking to alter their roster in a big way in advance of Thursday's trade deadline. According to Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated, the Raptors have offered Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Mike Conley and Marc Gasol.
Perhaps of greatest intrigue, the Toronto Raptors have called Memphis offering Jonas Valanciunas and Kyle Lowry for both of Conley and Gasol, league sources told Sports Illustrated. Memphis, sources said, would prefer to receive younger players such as OG Anunoby or draft assets in any exchange with Toronto that would send Conley north. The Grizzlies of course rejected Toronto's initial offer.
Lowry has been made aware of Toronto's negotiations involving him, according to once source close to the All-Star point guard.
Toronto reporters, however, indicated that the dialogue was started by the Grizzlies as a way to gauge the market for Gasol and Conley, and the talks never got very far.
In any case, the rumor has gotten big enough to the point that Lowry responded on Tuesday night, telling reporters that he's never requested a trade, and wants to be in Toronto. "My goal is to win a championship here," Lowry said. "That's what I want to do."
While the deal certainly doesn't appear to be close to being completed, here's a look at how things could turn out for each team if it does go down. SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh ran the simulations assuming a straight swap of Lowry and Valanciunas for Conley and Gasol.
First, for the Raptors
And now, for the Grizzlies
Per Oh's data, the move really wouldn't make much of a difference for either side.
Toronto, back in action on Thursday against the Hawks (7:30 p.m. ET -- watch on fuboTV with the NBA League Pass extension), does possess several talented young players like OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet, and Delon Wright that could interest Memphis if the two teams really want to get a deal done.
The Grizzlies are obviously looking to get younger, which is evident in the fact that they've made Conley and Gasol available. Gasol even sat out Tuesday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves with his name swirling in trade talks. Leading up to the game, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the Charlotte Hornets were to acquire Gasol.
Conley has also been mentioned in trade talks with the Utah Jazz, who have been showing significant interest. The two teams were that would send Conley to the Jazz in exchange for Ricky Rubio and potentially other pieces. According to a report from Tony Jones of The Athletic, Utah offered Memphis a first-round pick, a second-round pick, and expiring contracts, dollar for dollar, in exchange for Conley and the Grizzlies countered by also asking for Dante Exum which led to the Jazz declining their request.
With the Sixers landing Tobias Harris, the Raptors could be looking to make a move to counter that. Toronto currently sits in second place in the Eastern Conference and only trail the Milwaukee Bucks by 1.5 games for that top spot.
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