Chatter about the possibility of free agent point guard Kyle Lowry joining the Heat has increased significantly since the team announced this afternoon that it has picked up Goran Dragic‘s $19MM+ team option for 2021/22.
In the wake of the Dragic decision, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski stated (via Twitter) that the move was considered a possible precursor to a sign-and-trade deal that would send Lowry from the Raptors to the Heat, while Marc Stein (Twitter link) referred to Miami as the “favorite” to land the 35-year-old point guard.
Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald (Twitter link) also hears that the Heat are viewed as the frontrunners for Lowry, and Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald tweets that there’s “growing optimism” a deal will come together.
Meanwhile, Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link) outlines a pretty specific scenario in which Dragic and Precious Achiuwa would be outgoing pieces in a sign-and-trade for Lowry, who would receive a three-year contract starting at about $26MM. Dragic would subsequently be bought out by the Raptors, Winderman adds. Technically, sign-and-trade discussions about a free agent aren’t permitted by rule until Monday night, but Winderman’s tweet sounds like more than just speculation.
Still, while momentum appears to be in Miami’s favor for now, we’re still 24 hours away from free agency and the Lowry sweepstakes certainly aren’t over yet. As Wojnarowski notes (via Twitter), the Raptors would have to be satisfied by the picks and/or young players they get for Lowry in order to accept a sign-and-trade deal, since they could open up a chunk of cap room by simply letting him walk.
The Pelicans, Mavericks, and Sixers all remain in the hunt for the six-time All-Star too, says Chiang. However, the Heat may be Lowry’s top choice for a handful of reasons, including his friendship with Jimmy Butler and his respect for the organization, per Jackson.