Once thought dead, we’re now digging the shovel into NBA dirt to exhume the Kyle Lowry-to-the-Sixers rumor. It’s kind of like The Undertaker of WWE fame, rising from the casket to chokeslam his opponent and then deliver the Tombstone piledriver.

In this case, there was radio silence on the Lowry topic. We even had a Toronto-based guy come out and say that Lowry wasn’t going anywhere. Not to the Sixers, not to Miami, and not to any other NBA squad at all.

But Toronto has lost a ton of games in recent weeks, and their thinking might be changing. So here comes Shams Charania with a report at The Athletic:

The Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers are leaders in pursuit to acquire Lowry, sources told The Athletic, and several rival team executives are monitoring the situation as well as which young player or asset either team could part with. Lowry has spent the last nine years in Toronto, cementing himself as a legacy player for the Raptors and as arguably the best player in franchise history. Lowry’s arrival in Toronto predated Masai Ujiri’s presidency, and to fans, he represents a through line that connects the Raptors’ fight for relevancy at the beginning of his time with the franchise to their current status as one of the league’s most respected organizations.

Those with knowledge of Lowry’s mindset believe he wants to compete for a championship, however, and that is what makes this season in Toronto so complicated. Lowry and the Raptors have built such a relationship that both sides would work on any potential trade or decision for him to stay through the deadline, and the latter scenario would leave for a more organic end to the campaign prior to his summer free agency.

We’ve been over Lowry the player several times. Great veteran stabilizer who would add some ball handling, savvy, and experience to the squad. He’s a decent shooter and quality defender, does a lot of small things well, and is just a winner in general. It’s hard to quantify a lot of what Lowry does well, and he’s a guy who adds value in a lot of marginal areas. He’s also been annoying as an opponent, and experienced a few dust ups with Ben Simmons, which may or may not re-emerge if the pair are teammates. That’s probably not a big deal, but something to at least note.

When you look at this Sixers team, as of 3/22/21, they are first place in the East and continue to win without Joel Embiid. Tobias Harris is playing well. The bench is starting to look more steady. Shake Milton has played better in recent games. They could probably go for a stretch big off the pine, and would benefit from another ball handler behind Simmons, but if the price for an expiring Lowry includes a first rounder and a player, I’m not sure that’s the best use of assets. Lowry is good, but so are the Sixers, and so you have to think about whether it makes more sense to add some peripheral pieces (think the Belinelli/Ilyasova year) vs. making another midseason blockbuster trade, ala Harris and Jimmy Butler from a few years back. If you’re looking down the road to a Nets playoff matchup, Lowry offers good perimeter help against their superstar trio, but the Sixers are playing damn good basketball right now and might not need to make this kind of move.

As always, it’s not a question of trying to improve your squad, but instead asking if the price is right.