The Miami Heat are preparing for a critical offseason in which they have several players with expired contracts. Assuming the Heat can re-sign most, if not all of these players, they will be a piece or two away from making some serious noise in the Eastern Conference.
After all, Miami reached the NBA Finals during the 2019-2020 season and lost to the Milwaukee Bucks the next season. The Bucks would go on to win the NBA championship in 2021.
One player the Heat have some serious interest in adding is Kyle Lowry. Even at the age of 35, Lowry is still an All-Star level facilitator and would provide some much-needed structure to Miami’s offense.
What other teams are pursuing Kyle Lowry, and is it worth it for the Miami Heat to sign him long-term?
The Miami Heat are not alone in their pursuit of Lowry. According to a source, other teams that have shown interest are the Philadelphia 76ers, New Orleans Pelicans, and Los Angeles Lakers.
If Lowry was interested in taking a pay cut to have a higher chance of winning a title, his best chance would probably be with the Lakers. However, he recently revealed that he would like a three-year deal of about $30 million annually. This puts the Lakers in a tough spot to sign Lowry without a sign-and-trade being involved.
As for the Philadelphia 76ers, they could negotiate a sign-and-trade with the Toronto Raptors that involves a Lowry-Simmons swap. However, the 76ers want to try to find other ways to get more out of Ben Simmons than a guard who probably only has two or three more years left of high-level play.
That leaves the Miami Heat and the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans recently made a trade that sent Eric Bledsoe, Steven Adams, and the 10th pick in this year’s draft to the Memphis Grizzlies for Jonas Valanciunas and this year’s 17th pick in the NBA draft.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, this move was made so the Pelicans would have the financial flexibility to make a deal with Kyle Lowry. If they can’t sign him, they could also match an offer made to their restricted free agent Lonzo Ball.
The Heat have two options to get Lowry. They could either sign him outright, which would almost certainly mean the Heat would have to let go of Victor Oladipo, or they could work on a sign-and-trade deal.
The Heat would likely have to make a trade package centered around one of their two most valuable trade assets: Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson.
It is also worth noting that Jimmy Butler has a close relationship with Kyle Lowry. The Miami Heat star might be able to persuade Lowry to favor the Heat over other teams, which would make negotiating a contract a little bit easier.
Kyle Lowry’s high asking price poses questions about whether or not he is worth $30 million at this stage in his career. For the Heat, the answer to that question is up to Pat Riley and the rest of the organization.
The Heat have the option of entering win-now mode or continuing to develop their young core. Is it worth it for the Heat to sacrifice their young players to get a few years of Kyle Lowry?