With Kyle Lowry(Possibly) on Board, Is DeMar DeRozan Next?

With Kyle Lowry(Possibly) on Board, Is DeMar DeRozan Next?

by August 2, 2021 0 comments

August 2nd marked the first day of Free Agency, but it appears that free agency already started before then. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Miami Heat was viewed as favorites to land Kyle Lowry on Sunday. Miami is expected to include Goran Dragic and Precious Achuiwa in a sign-and-trade deal for Lowry. Wojnarowski also noted that other Lowry suitors–Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans–are starting to look elsewhere. Even though Lowry seems likely, Miami is still looking for more.

As reported first by Five Reasons Sports, the Heat is also working to acquire DeMar DeRozan, considered among the best available free agents on the market.

With cap space, and considerable assets to move, the Heat have been hot in the news since the season ended. Lowry has been their main target and by exercising Dragic’s team option, the team can acquire the veteran guard in a sign-and-trade. Should they pull this off, as expected, they’ll be able to offer DeRozan the full $9.3 midlevel exception. The Athletic’s John Hollinger brought up that idea in a recent report. Here’s what was said:

“The other move that has been hotly rumored of late is DeMar DeRozan going to Miami for their full MLE, which they could likely just squeeze under the luxury tax apron along with Lowry and Robinson. (You can forget the rumors that DeRozan would take the taxpayer midlevel just to play for the Lakers.)”

This would be the preferred method by Miami. Operating as a team over the cap, Miami has the flexibility to retain its own free agents such as Victor Oladipo and Trevor Ariza while matching any offer sheet for Duncan Robinson. If DeRozan is willing to accept a lower salary, then reuniting with Lowry, and playing with Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Robinson could be very attractive. The fit would be fascinating to watch. Both Butler and Derozan have similar games and the spacing would be in question. That’s why having Robinson in the lineup would be huge. But, if there’s anyone who can figure it out, it’s Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.

The Challenge

The huge question is if Derozan is willing to accept a lower salary to make this happen. DeRozan is coming off a strong season where he averaged 21.6 points, a career-high 6.9 assists while shooting an efficient 49.5 percent from the field for the season. If not, that makes this scenario more complicated. Miami would have to involve multiple teams while also trying to meet Robinson and Derozan’s salary demands. Miami would also prefer to keep Tyler Herro out of these scenarios.
If there’s one dude who can figure it out its Heat general manager Andy Elisburg. Elisburg is regarded as one of the best in the league when it comes to salary cap crunching. While it’s no guarantee they’ll get it done, the Heat are trying hard to figure it out. It’s certainly something to keep an eye on.

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