NBA reporter Mitch Lawrence set message boards and social media on fire last week by tweeting that the Timberwolves have interest in signing point guard Kyle Lowry in free agency. On Wednesday, he joined KFAN in Minneapolis to expound on his tweet.
"I had found out through sources that by getting Jimmy Butler the Timberwolves are now saying, 'we can do better than Ricky Rubio at point guard because Jimmy Butler's gonna help us land attractive free agents,'" Lawrence said. "What I found out was, yeah, Kyle Lowry, they love him."
Lawrence added that Minnesota also considers free agents Jrue Holiday, Jeff Teague and George Hill better players than Rubio.
The problem is that with only about $19 million in salary cap space, the Wolves will have to trade Rubio – probably within the next 48 hours – to have a shot at signing Lowry to a deal that could reach $25+ million annually. Rubio is due $14.1 million next season and $14.8 million in 2018-19. Trading him, depending on the salaries the Wolves take on in a deal, could get them $30+ million in cap space.
Lowry is a solid defensive point guard and he'd immediately become Minnesota's best 3-point shooter. According to the CBC, Lowry was better last season on pull-up threes (42%) than Steph Curry (36.4%), Kyrie Irving (35.1%) and James Harden (33.3%).
If the Wolves find a trading partner for Rubio – maybe Utah, per Lawrence – Butler could prove to be the key ingredient to signing Lowry to a max deal.
"He's tight with Lowry," Lawrence said of Butler, who played with Lowry on Team USA. "He wanted Lowry to come to Chicago. He's a guy you have to keep your eye on July 1st."
Lowry can get the most money by resigning with with Toronto, but after Toronto's season ended in May he went on record saying a championship is all that matters to him.
"A ring. Nothing else. I just want a ring," he said, via UPI.