The Philadelphia 76ers acquired a point guard at the 2021 NBA trade deadline, just not the one they were rumored to one in the days leading up to Thursday afternoon. The Sixers came to terms on a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder to acquire George Hill, eschewing the opportunity to bring Kyle Lowry back to his hometown.
There were plenty of reports that the two teams were close to figuring something out, but when 3:01 p.m. hit on Thursday, Lowry remained with the Toronto Raptors. As for why that happened, Sam Amick of The Athletic provided some context, saying that the Raptors thought a deal was indeed close but it couldn’t quite get across the finish line.
As for Philadelphia, which was reportedly close to a Lowry deal but wound up opting for Oklahoma City’s George Hill instead, a source with knowledge of the talks said the Raptors indeed believed they were very close on that front late in the process and that the draft compensation was the final unresolved hurdle. The plan, the source said, was for Toronto to re-route Sixers guard Danny Green to a third team.
Considering the cost of acquiring Hill was players who are not in the team’s rotation and second-round Draft picks, it does appear that Philly viewed the value it got from acquiring him would be more worth it than moving on from major rotation pieces like Green and first-round selections for Lowry, who is an unrestricted free agent following this season. Masai Ujiri eventually said that he was surprised teams didn’t meet their asking price for Lowry, but with how much he’s meant to the franchise, we’ll bet Raptors fans are generally pretty happy they’ll get to see their All-Star point guard stick around.