May 4, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey and Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) reacts after a call in game seven of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets at the Air Canada Centre. Brooklyn defeated Toronto 104-103. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Bucher: Miami Heat to Acquire Kyle Lowry from Toronto Raptors via Sign-and-Trade

Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher reported last night that the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors were discussing a sign-and-trade deal that would send point guard Kyle Lowry to join the Big Three in South Beach.

Now, Bucher is reporting that a deal is “imminent.”

An agreement in principle on a deal that would send point guard Kyle Lowry from the Toronto Raptors to the Miami Heat is “imminent,” a league source with direct knowledge of the negotiations said Friday.

The deal, which will consist of the Raptors signing and trading Lowry in exchange for Heat point guard Norris Cole, cash and a combination of future draft picks, can’t be officially consummated until sometime after July 1 because Miami is currently over the salary cap and must sort out its position with its existing core of superstars—LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

However, it is questionable that Miami would be able to pull this off with so much of its roster in flux right now. Twitter had its doubts.

The Heat traded up in Thursday’s draft to select guard Shabazz Napier from UConn, as the team continues to revamp its roster in hopes of retaining LeBron James—who plans to opt out of his contract and test free agency.

Miami was rumored to be interested in Carmelo Anthony, but Lowry fits a more glaring position of need. Mario Chalmers, who was benched in the last game of the season, is set to be a free agent when the market opens on July 1. If Bucher’s report is true, it likely means the end of Rio in Miami. Cole apparently became expendable when the Heat acquired Napier.

Lowry would give Miami one of the best point guards in the Eastern Conference, transforming a position of weekness into a strength. He would also allow LeBron to play off the ball and take the burden of initiating the offense off the four-time MVP’s shoulders.

Lowry, 28, averaged 17.9 points, 7.4 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game last season. Bucher added that the terms of the deal are still being worked out, but that it will likely be $9-10 million per year over a long-term deal.

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