Kyle Lowry plans to sign with the Philadelphia 76ers after agreeing to a buyout from the Charlotte Hornets, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Lowry landed in Charlotte after his former team, the Miami Heat, traded him and a first-round pick for Terry Rozier. The rebuilding Hornets had little reason to hold onto a veteran like Lowry, so they have now negotiated a buyout that frees him to join a team he has been linked to for practically his entire career.
Lowry is a Philadelphia native. He played college ball at Villanova. The 76ers have pursued him in the past, most notably ahead of the 2021 trade deadline, but ultimately failed to complete a deal. Now, after nearly two decades away, the six-time NBA All-Star is returning home to Philadelphia.
The 76ers will need every ounce of production he can provide. With Joel Embiid sidelined after knee surgery, they have struggled on both ends of the floor. A trade deadline deal for Buddy Hield should go a long way offensively, but with Patrick Beverley and Jaden Springer also moved at the deadline, the 76ers needed a tough, defensive-minded guard for their bench. Embiid’s absence also created a need for a bit more ball-handling behind ascending All-Star guard Tyrese Maxey. Lowry can provide both.
At 37, Lowry is well past his prime. In 37 games for the Heat this season, he averaged just 8.2 points per game, his lowest figure since becoming a full-time starter back in 2011. However, as the 2023 postseason proved, he is still more than capable of impacting games in a smaller role. He was shooting 38.5% on 3-pointers for the Heat earlier this season, and he is still a rugged defender that plays far bigger than his size.
The 76ers are doing all they can to remain afloat with Embiid out. There is no telling at this point whether he will be able to return this season. If he does, Lowry will be a valuable supporting piece on a playoff roster around him. And if he doesn’t? Having another veteran point guard in the building will help this team weather the storm as best they can.