The changing of the (point) guard in the Rockets’ backcourt continues at a furious pace.
First free-agent Goran Dragic was told that the club would not meet his asking price and was cut loose.
Now Kyle Lowry has been traded to Toronto. League sources confirmed reports by the Houston Chronicle and ESPN.com that Lowry will be exchanged for a future first-round draft pick that will protected in both directions.
Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle has more of the details:
The exodus of Rockets point guards continued Thursday with the Rockets sending Kyle Lowry to the Toronto Raptors for a package built around a future first-round draft pick, a person with knowledge of the deal said.
The pick will have limited protections, but was called “a likely lottery pick.” Protections, still being discussed, could keep the pick from coming in the upper echelon of the draft. In an unusual clause in the deal, the Rockets also will not get the pick next season if the Raptors’ season keeps the pick from getting too late in the draft.
The Rockets will get forward Gary Forbes in the deal, according to a person with knowledge of the trade, but the deal was made to get the pick, rather than the player. The trade will not become official until July 11.
So in the past week the Rockets have severed ties with both of the players who started at point guard last season.
Goran was asking for a contract far higher than the Rockets wanted to pay. Lowry has been on the blocks ever since he said after the season that he felt it would unable to continue playing for Kevin McHale and would probably be best served by a trade.
The Rockets had free agent Jeremy Lin in for a visit earlier this week, but not deal was reached.
The dealing of Lowry — the Rockets’ best trade chip — probably eliminates Houston’s long-shot hope of making a deal with Orlando for free agent center Dwight Howard.