ReGrade the trade: Heat go all-in with polarizing deal for final piece

Kyle Lowry was a key part of recent Miami Heat playoff runs, but was the sign-and-trade for him back in 2021 worth it?
Miami Heat v Los Angeles Clippers
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The up-and-down Kyle Lowry experience

Lowry's $28 million price tag was not justified in a bench role at his age. Lowry brought a veteran presence and helped with the development of players like Gabe Vincent, Max Strus and Tyler Herro, among others. But by the time Lowry was traded in January, he was averaging a career-low 8.2 points to go along with 5.1 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals for the 2023-2024 season in Miami.

His best statistical season during his Heat tenure came in the 2021-2022 season where he averaged a little over 13.0 points, but even in his best season it was still clear that this contract was an overpay.

The beginning of his time in South Florida was encouraging, despite underperforming for his salary and expected role. He didn't have the scoring talent that he once had with the Raptors, but he made up for it in other ways. His presence at the "QB1" position that season made players around him better. The orchestration of the offense and the intangibles were still as sharp as ever, and one of the big reasons why the Heat secured the East's number one seed that year.

Unfortunately, age and availability issues could not allow Lowry to keep that level of play up the following two seasons.