Miami Heat Rumors: How much longer will Kyle Lowry be a difference maker?

Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat drives to the basket against Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat drives to the basket against Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Predicted to be large players in 2021 free agency, should the Miami Heat take interest in 2019 NBA champion and veteran point guard Kyle Lowry?

The largest chatter surrounding the Miami Heat’s future starts and ends at their 2021 free agency aims. With 2018-2019 Giannis Antetokounmpo at the top of their list, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald recently published a list of backup options provided their pursuit falls short.

One name that stuck out? Veteran point guard Kyle Lowry who most recently won a championship as a member of Kawhi Leonard’s one-year campaign with the Toronto Raptors. From Jackson:

"“Because he will turn 35 next March, Lowry looms as a one-year option for Miami if the Heat misses out on a handful of other targets. He’s still very good (19.7 points, 7.7 assists this season) and will earn $30.5 million next season.”"

The six-time All-Star will be 35 before the start of the 2021-2022 campaign, with 16 seasons under his belt. Is he worth the Miami Heat giving chase with a championship their primary goal?

Lowry’s averaging 19.7 points, 7.7 assists, and 1.3 steals for Toronto this season. The Raptors have the Eastern Conference’s second-best record at 46-18. But it’s still hard to see the two sides agreeing on a deal to keep Lowry up north in what will be a monumental free agency league-wide.

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Cue Pat Riley and the Miami Heat. Behind Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, as well as their group of young shooters, they’re a top threat to win the East at any point in the next three years.

With a prominent addition to the team out of the 2021 free agent pool? They’d be a legitimate threat to capture an NBA title in any season thereafter. Miami will have enough cap space to offer out a single max-level contract that offseason and the foundation to draw stars in.

Lowry wouldn’t command anywhere near a maximum contract but a hefty one-year deal shouldn’t be off the table. Especially if the Heat whiff on bigger names like Antetokounmpo. Lowry’s been to the playoffs in each of the last six seasons, and an All-Star in each of those seasons as well.

Is Kyle Lowry the kind of player that would put the Miami Heat in that upper echelon of teams considered championship contenders?

With any other club the biggest question regarding Lowry would be longevity. As Jackson notes above however, the Miami Heat would most likely only be interested in a one-year deal. Thus erasing most concern surrounding Lowry’s age and remaining length of his career.

Dependent upon price tag this could make a lot of sense for Pat Riley and company.

Lowry’s a bulldog on the defensive end and can still score the ball on all three levels. The veteran point guard posted an efficient 41/35/82 shooting split for Toronto this season.

Per Basketball Reference, Lowry was one of two players over 30 years old to tally more than 18 points and seven or more assists per game for the 2019-2020 campaign.

The other? LeBron James.

Part of his ability to continue producing can be credited to his never having suffered a serious season or potentially career-ending injury in any of his 15 seasons. Lowry has played less than 60 games in a season just twice in his career: his rookie year and the 2011-2012 campaign.

This would bode well for the Heat, whose point guard rotation come the 2021-2022 season could end up running quite thin. Goran Dragic is headed for free agency after this season and rookie point guard Kendrick Nunn may out price the Heat’s budget come his salary negotiations in 2021.

So the question isn’t whether or not Miami will be in the market for a point guard come their inevitable championship run, but a question of who they’ll end up with. If it does end up being Lowry then a short-term deal would obviously be ideal for the Heat.

At this point in his career the veteran point guard is far from a non-factor. The time between now and the 2021 offseason will determine just how hard the Heat pursue him.

Championship rosters may be complex in makeup but have been molded before in the hands of Pat Riley. If Lowry is deemed the necessary piece, he’ll do what he does best: get his guy.

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Kyle Lowry’s experience in the postseason alone makes him an obvious fit for the Miami Heat, but only if the price is right. As the remainder of this season continues and the 2020-2021 campaign plays out, keep an eye on the Raptors’ point guard as a potential candidate to land in South Beach.