Raptors Guard Kyle Lowry Looms as Potential Heat Targetby Jacari McRae June 13, 2021 0 comments
This was supposed to be the offseason where the Miami Heat completed their 2021 master plan. A plan that involved acquiring another star player to join Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo in Miami. For years, they have been eyeing this year’s free agency class because of Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. Unfortunately, Giannis re-upped with the Bucks and the Heat’s 2021 plan was in shambles. Yes, Kawhi Leonard could become a free agent this summer, but there’s a slim chance he will join Miami. Now, the name linked to the Heat this summer will be Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry.
Miami made a strong push for Lowry at the trade deadline but was unable to complete a deal with Toronto. Instead, they acquired Victor Oladipo, whose season was cut short after his season-ending knee surgery. Had Oladipo panned out the Lowry to Miami talks wouldn’t have been revisited. But now, Miami has another shot at Lowry. There’s certainly a connection between the two sides with Lowry being the godfather of Butler’s child. Miami will also have the potential cap space to either sign Lowry outright or at least start a sign-and-trade conversation with Toronto.
You’re probably asking why would a 36-year old point guard be Miami’s number one free agency target. But, you should consider how the other ‘old’ point guards have faired this season. Chris Paul played well at 36, Stephen Curry was playing MVP-level basketball at 33, and Russell Westbrook seemed rejuvenated at 32. Even though it was a disappointing season for Toronto, Lowry still averaged 17.2 points per game on 39.6 percent shooting from three-point range. In the series against Milwaukee, Miami could’ve used a playmaker like Lowry.
Making the Move
With Butler having the option to opt-out after next season, and with Butler being eligible for an extension, uniting Lowry with Butler could work as a short-term fix. Especially as the team works with the growth of Adebayo and its younger players. No, he’s not Kawhi or Giannis. Or even Bradley Beal, who’s shown no interest in leaving the Washington Wizards. But, there are not many options available out there for Miami. And the Heat certainly have to get very creative in pursuing stars in the trade market without draft picks to trade.
Now, there’s one thing to consider in the Heat’s pursuit of Lowry: cost. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey previously reported that Lowry was seeking a deal close to $50 million for at least two seasons. The question is whether Miami would be willing to offer a guaranteed second season, which could impact their cap for the 2022 free agency class. A class that could include Beal, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and James Harden. On the other hand, they could sign Lowry to a two-year deal and include him in a sign-and-trade for a star in 2022.
All in all, the Lowry to Miami talks will be loud this summer. With both sides showing mutual interest, there’s a realistic possibility that Lowry could land in Miami.
Follow Jacari McRae on Twitter @JMcRae23
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