Kyle Lowry

Heat Notes: Garrett, Okpala, Lowry, Aldridge, Herro

Heat rookie Marcus Garrett may take over KZ Okpala‘s role as a defensive specialist off the bench, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Garrett was a standout for Miami’s Summer League team and signed a two-way contract this week.

The Heat gave up three future second-round picks to acquire Okpala in a 2019 draft-day trade, but he has struggled with his shot during his first two NBA seasons. He connected at 37.5% from the field and 24.0% from three-point range in limited playing time last year. Winderman states that Garrett’s point-of-attack defense may be a better fit for the team and speculates that the playing time will go to whichever player produces more on offense.

There’s more from Miami:

  • The opportunity to win a title was the main reason that Kyle Lowry chose the Heat in free agency, Winderman relays in a separate story. Lowry explained his reasoning in a recent appearance on CJ McCollum‘s podcast. “For me, it’s only championships or bust,” he said. “Going to Miami, that was a situation where I feel like this is what they want to do. I have a close friend, Jimmy Butler, there and I feel like Miami, that’s what they want to do. It’s about winning championships.” Lowry later added, “If you aren’t playing for championships, what are you playing for? And that’s the only thought process that went into my free agency, is where do I go to become a champion?”
  • The Heat’s history with players who have serious medical conditions may have made them reluctant to pursue LaMarcus Aldridge, Winderman adds in another piece. Aldridge received medical clearance this week to return to the NBA after being forced into retirement when he was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat in April. He signed with the Nets, the team he joined after a buyout agreement with the Spurs last season. Miami has gone through similar health scares with Chris Bosh and Alonzo Mourning.
  • Picking up Tyler Herro‘s option for 2022/23 was an easy decision, but the Heat will face a tougher choice next summer when he’s eligible for a rookie scale extension, observes David Wilson of The Miami Herald. More than three quarters of Miami’s projected cap space through the 2023/24 season is tied up in Lowry, Butler, Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson, so extending Herro could result in a huge tax bill.

Southwest Notes: Lowry, Louzada, Barea, Omoruyi

The Mavericks were runners-up to the Heat in the free agency competition for Kyle Lowry, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. A source tells Jackson that the Mavs were willing to pay what Lowry was seeking and he was intrigued by the possibility of playing in Dallas, but his first choice was to join Jimmy Butler in Miami. Lowry wound up getting $85MM over three years, and joined the Heat in a sign-and-trade.

The Pelicans were also interested in Lowry and were willing to offer $90MM or more for three seasons, Jackson adds. However, Jackson’s source says Lowry didn’t give strong consideration to New Orleans.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The new four-year deal for Pelicans swingman Didi Louzada is valued at about $7.69MM, tweets Andrew Lopez of ESPN. The first two seasons are fully guaranteed and the final two are non-guaranteed. New Orleans held non-Bird rights on Louzada and his contract starts at 120% of the $1.489MM minimum, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. Marks notes that the Pelicans still have their entire $9.5MM mid-level exception available, along with a $17.1MM trade exception.
  • Longtime Mavericks player J.J. Barea will return to the organization in some capacity, according to Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). The exact role hasn’t been finalized for Barea, who spent 11 of his 14 NBA seasons with the Mavs. “I’m going to be involved, and I’m definitely excited,” said Barea, who served as an unofficial assistant coach in today’s Summer League game.
  • Rookie forward Eugene Omoruyi talked to Townsend after signing a two-way contract with the Mavericks on Friday (video link).

Eastern Contract Details: Lowry, Birch, Heat, Dinwiddie, Niang, More

Kyle Lowry‘s new three-year, $85MM contract with the Heat is a standard increasing deal, starting at about $26.98MM and rising annually by 5%, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac.

Based on Lowry’s 2021/22 salary, we now know the value of the traded player exception the Raptors created in their sign-and-trade deal with the Heat, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic. That TPE will be worth $4,832,848, which is the difference between Lowry’s new salary and the combined cap hits of Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa.

Murphy also confirms that Khem Birch‘s three-year, $20MM deal with the Raptors is a standard increasing contract with no options or partial guarantees — it eats up about $6.35MM of Toronto’s mid-level exception, leaving $3.187MM on that MLE.

Here are more contract details from around the East, courtesy of Smith:

  • As expected, the new deals for Max Strus, Omer Yurtseven, and Gabe Vincent with the Heat are each two-year, minimum-salary contracts with one year guaranteed and the second year non-guaranteed (Twitter link). P.J. Tucker, meanwhile, got a two-year, $14.35MM contract that uses $7MM of Miami’s mid-level exception in year one. Tucker’s second year is a player option (Twitter link).
  • Spencer Dinwiddie‘s three-year contract with the Wizards only has a base value of $54MM, rather than the previously-reported total of $60MM+ (Twitter link). The deal, which features unlikely incentives that could push its value higher, has a partial guarantee worth $10MM (of $18.86MM) in year three.
  • Georges Niang‘s deal with the Sixers came in at $6.765MM over two years, both of which are fully guaranteed (Twitter link).
  • Trae Young‘s five-year, maximum-salary extension with the Hawks includes a 15% trade kicker (Twitter link).
  • The numbers are also in for the finalized deals between Jarrett Allen and the Cavaliers (Twitter link), Bobby Portis and the Bucks (Twitter link), George Hill and the Bucks (Twitter link), and Danny Green and the Sixers (Twitter link), with no surprises among that group. As expected, Green’s second year is non-guaranteed and Portis has a second-year player option, while Allen and Hill have fully guaranteed salaries.

Heat Notes: Lowry, Offseason, Yurtseven, Investigation

New starting Heat point guard Kyle Lowry discussed his expectations for this offseason’s revamped Miami club with media on Friday and Saturday, as Couper Moorhead of Heat.com details.

“On paper it looks great,” Lowry, a 2019 title winner with the Raptors, said of Miami’s new-look roster. “But you have to put the work in on the floor. I don’t ever try to say we can do this, we can do that. At the end of the day you have to go out there, lace ‘em up and do your job. Play defense, put the ball in the hole.”

Miami’s sign-and-trade deal with the Raptors that sent Lowry to the Heat is currently being investigated by the NBA, as the league is cracking down on violations to its anti-tampering stance on free agency.

There’s more out of South Beach:

  • In his latest notes roundup, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel discusses the re-signing of Victor Oladipo, plus the departures of Kendrick Nunn (after the team made him an unrestricted free agent) and Andre Iguodala (after the Heat did not pick up the second year of his contract). Winderman notes that Oladipo, Lowry, and new Heat power forward P.J. Tucker were all potential trade targets for Miami during the 2020/21 season, though Miami was unwilling to part with young players Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson. Winderman adds that Miami’s decision to move on from Nunn speaks to the team’s preference for Herro, regarded as having higher upside.
  • Now that the Heat have inked a two-year minimum deal with center Omer YurtsevenIra Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel examines the seven-footer’s fit as with a Miami team hungry to contend. After Yurtseven’s promising NBAGL 2020/21 season for the Oklahoma City Blue, Miami signed him for the rest of the year. He posted encouraging averages of 26 PPG and 13.5 RPG in two California Classic Summer League this year, and ultimately opted to return to Miami.
  • Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald has further details on the NBA’s investigation into the Heat’s Lowry sign-and-trade with the Raptors. Chiang writes that the investigation is most likely being conducted as a result of at least one other NBA team complaining about the expediency of the deal, while Winderman tweets that it’s more about “gun-jumping” than tampering.
  • Within Chiang’s story, Bobby Marks of ESPN said the sign-and-trade for Lowry almost certainly won’t be voided. “I would say highly, highly unlikely that the trade will be voided and that Kyle is a free agent all of a sudden,” Marks said. “I think what will happen is if they’re found guilty, there will be some financial penalty and draft picks will be lost here.” Marks anticipates the investigation could last for around two weeks.

NBA Investigating Lowry, Ball Sign-And-Trades For Possible Tampering

The NBA has launched investigations into two of the sign-and-trade deals that were agreed upon early in free agency, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne.

Those two deals are the one that sent Kyle Lowry from the Raptors to the Heat – which was officially announced on Friday – and the one sending Lonzo Ball from the Pelicans to the Bulls, which hasn’t been officially completed yet. The NBA is set to investigate possible violations of its tampering policy.

According to Wojnarowski and Shelburne, the league is expected to look into any contact that may have occurred prior to the opening of the free agency negotiating period on Monday at 5:00pm CT. Both agreements were reported within minutes after the negotiating period began.

It’s an open secret that teams and agents begin free agent discussions before the negotiating period officially starts, but the NBA generally frowns on any deals that blatantly violate those rules. Sign-and-trades receive even more scrutiny since they’re more complex and typically require more time to complete than a typical free agent negotiation, Wojnarowski and Shelburne note.

Last year, for instance, an alleged sign-and-trade agreement involving the Bucks, Kings, and Bogdan Bogdanovic was reported several days before free agency officially began. The league ended up taking away Milwaukee’s 2022 second-round pick after investigating that situation, while Bogdanovic – who claimed he never agreed to terms with the Bucks – landed in Atlanta instead.

We’ll see what the investigation into the Lowry and Ball sign-and-trades turns up this year. It’s unlikely that the league would nix either deal, but fines and/or draft-pick penalties don’t seem out of the question, given the manner in which the deals were publicly reported.

One Monday report outlined the specifics of the Lowry sign-and-trade to the Heat nearly three hours before free agency began, though there was some uncertainty for much of the week about whether the deal would involve more pieces than just Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa. Lowry’s commitment to Miami was confirmed just minutes into free agency and his agency announced his destination shortly thereafter.

Ball’s deal with the Bulls was reported literally the minute the negotiating window opened, with the full terms of the trade agreement – including another sign-and-trade involving Garrett Temple – surfacing just seven minutes later.

As Wojnarowski notes (via Twitter), the NBA adopted new anti-tampering measures two years ago, giving the league the power to fine teams for up to $10MM, suspend executives, take away draft picks, or even void deals altogether if proof of tampering is found.

The Bucks’ second-round pick forfeiture is the most significant penalty we’ve seen since then. However, as Wojnarowski and Shelburne point out, the NBA’s decision in that case took into consideration that Bogdanovic didn’t end up signing with Milwaukee, so the league could come down a little harder on Miami and/or Chicago.

Raptors Notes: Lowry, Achiuwa, Dragic, Birch, TPE, Ujiri

There was some speculation leading up to free agency that Toronto would make an effort to re-sign veteran point guard Kyle Lowry, but comments made on Friday by the six-time All-Star and by Raptors general manager Bobby Webster suggested both sides felt the time was right to move on, writes Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca.

“I think the direction Toronto is going in is they want to give the opportunities to (Fred VanVleet), Pascal (Siakam), OG (Anunoby), a couple young guys, the young draft picks they have,” Lowry told reporters. “They have some great core pieces. They’re in great hands and great shape. It was a situation for me where it was an opportunity to do something different… It’s time to turn the page in the book.”

Webster conveyed a similar sentiment: “You probably could see (during the 2020/21 second half) the direction the team was going in, and jumping up in the draft to get the fourth pick, philosophically, I think going young became kind of a more desirable path.”

Once they recognized Lowry would be moving on, the Raptors could’ve decided to let him walk in order to open up cap room to pursue a free agent. However, that path offered less certainty, especially if the team made an offer sheet to a restricted free agent (such as Jarrett Allen) not knowing whether it would be matched. The Raptors preferred to acquire Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa via a sign-and-trade with the Heat, Lewenberg writes.

“Precious is a huge part of this deal for us,” Webster said. “We really liked him last year in the draft so I think that was a huge get in the sense of a young player that we like and fits.”

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • Throughout the week, there were rumors that Toronto may try to flip Dragic to a third team after acquiring him via sign-and-trade. Webster said on Friday that’s not Plan A. “Obviously, if we got an offer that was too good to refuse we’d listen but ultimately we want Goran here,” the Raptors’ GM said, per Lewenberg. “He’s happy to be here, obviously he’s been able to carve out a very nice career for himself. Talking to (team president) Masai (Ujiri), talking to everyone here, we’ve watched him a ton and I know a lot of people have seen him kill us. As a basketball player, as a vet, he provides a lot of value to us.”
  • After his new three-year deal with the Raptors was formally announced on Friday, Canadian center Khem Birch told reporters he was focused throughout free agency on returning to the team, as Doug Smith of The Toronto Star writes. “It feels like a dream come true,” Birch said. “It’s so surreal right now … just one of those free agencies where I knew where I wanted to go. I don’t even know what other teams were interested in me. I just wanted to come here regardless of the price or the years or anything. I just knew this was a great fit. I’m just happy I’m here.”
  • The Raptors will generate a traded player exception as a result of the Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade to Miami. It’ll be worth somewhere between $4.8MM and $7.7MM, depending on the specific structure of Lowry’s new contract, writes Blake Murphy of The Athletic.
  • Speaking to Jared Weiss of The Athletic, Raptors chairman Larry Tanenbaum confirmed that Masai Ujiri‘s new vice chairman title won’t give him an ownership stake in the franchise, but said it reflects his standing in the organization. “I chair the Raptors, but it’s just a recognition that we’re really working together,” Tanenbaum said. “We’re partners.”
  • Tanenbaum added in the same interview that the team’s plan is to have Lowry retire as a Raptor down the road and to retire his number. “He will retire as a Raptor and his number will absolutely go up there,” Tanenbaum said. “The honor will be the first one (for the Raptors) and I love Kyle.”

Heat, Raptors Finalize Kyle Lowry Sign-And-Trade

The Heat have officially acquired point guard Kyle Lowry from the Raptors via sign-and-trade, Miami announced today in a press release. Toronto received point guard Goran Dragic and big man Precious Achiuwa in the deal.

Lowry was one of the first free agents to make a commitment when the negotiation period opened on Monday evening, but it took all week for the details of the sign-and-trade to be confirmed. Dragic and Achiuwa were always believed to be part of the deal, but there were rumors that Dragic would be flipped to a third team or that the Raptors would receive additional pieces. Ultimately, it’s just a two-for-one swap.

Lowry’s new, fully guaranteed contract with the Heat was initially reported to be worth $90MM over three years, but it’ll actually come in at $85MM, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Miami would’ve needed to include more salary in addition to Dragic and Achiuwa for matching purposes in order to accommodate that $90MM figure, notes Blake Murphy of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The Heat, who have been after Lowry since at least the trade deadline in March, will unite the six-time All-Star with his close friend Jimmy Butler, who has agreed to sign a lucrative new contract extension of his own with Miami.

While a guaranteed three-year, $85MM investment is a risk for a player who is entering his age-35 season, Lowry has championship experience and is an ideal fit on virtually any roster due to his ability to handle the ball, knock down outside shots, and provide strong defense. He averaged 17.2 PPG, 7.3 APG, and 5.3 RPG on .436/.396/.875 in 46 games (34.8 MPG) in his final season as a Raptor.

“Kyle Lowry is a great leader and an exceptional defender,” Heat president Pat Riley said in a statement. “As a point guard, he will bring important skills to run the offense, score the ball and defend with the very best.”

The Raptors, meanwhile, still could theoretically flip Dragic to another team in the coming days, weeks, or months. However, Marc Stein reported earlier today that Toronto has “resisted external interest” in the Slovenian guard from the Mavericks and other teams.

Barring further trades, Dragic will join the Raptors’ backcourt alongside Fred VanVleet, Malachi Flynn, and Gary Trent Jr., while Achiuwa will battle for minutes in a frontcourt rotation that includes Khem Birch and Chris Boucher.

Free Agency Rumors: DeRozan, Smart, Dragic, Tucker

It appears that several teams remain interested in adding veteran free agent Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan, but are trying to gauge his market. Jordan Schultz of ESPN reports (Twitter link) that the Clippers would like to sign DeRozan, as would the Spurs if the price is right.

Schultz notes that there are other clubs interested in DeRozan, but – assuming he’s is not offered an overwhelming deal – the former four-time All-Star will take his time in determining a destination.

Here are more free agency rumors from around the NBA world:

  • With Lonzo Ball now headed to the Bulls in a sign-and-trade deal as a restricted free agent, another team that had been floated as a potential destination, the Celtics, will most likely not attempt to move on from guard Marcus Smart, tweets Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. Murphy adds (Twitter link) that Smart is hoping to earn a four-year, $80MM contract extension from Boston.
  • Veteran guard Goran Dragic , who is expected to be sent from the Heat to the Raptors in an upcoming sign-and-trade for veteran free agent point guard Kyle Lowry, is hoping to be rerouted to the Mavericks, per Michael Grange of Sportsnet (Twitter link). The details of a sign-and-trade agreement between Miami and Toronto have not yet been fully reported.
  • Now that the news has broken that newly-minted NBA champion P.J. Tucker will be joining the Heat rather than return to the Bucks in free agency, Sam Amick of The Athletic notes a big part of the reason was Milwaukee’s exorbitant projected tax bill if Tucker had returned. The Bucks appear hopeful to replace Tucker’s versatile defensive contributions by agreeing to a deal with former Celtics forward Semi Ojeleye.

Heat To Acquire Kyle Lowry, Re-Sign Duncan Robinson

The Heat will add Kyle Lowry in free agency via a sign-and-trade with the Raptors and will also re-sign Duncan Robinson, as Marc Stein reports (via Twitter). Both deals had been widely expected, and Lowry has confirmed on Twitter that he’s Miami-bound.

Lowry’s new three-year contract with the Heat will be worth approximately $90MM, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). All three years will be fully guaranteed, tweets Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

Robinson, meanwhile, has agreed to a five-year, $90MM contract with Miami, his agent Jason Glushon tells Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The deal includes an early termination option after year four.

The Heat have been after Lowry since at least the trade deadline in March. While they were unable to land the six-time All-Star at the time, they’ll add him to the mix now, beating out other rumored suitors such as the Mavericks, Pelicans, and Sixers. The move will unite Lowry with his close friend Jimmy Butler, who is expected to sign a lucrative new contract extension of his own.

While a three-year, $90MM investment is a risk for a player who is entering his age-35 season, Lowry has championship experience and is an ideal fit for virtually any team due to his ability to handle the ball, knock down outside shots, and provide strong defense. He averaged 17.2 PPG, 7.3 APG, and 5.3 RPG on .436/.396/.875 in 46 games (34.8 MPG) in his final season as a Raptor.

While the exact terms of the sign-and-trade that will send Lowry to Miami haven’t been reported, the expectation is that the deal will include Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa, with the Raptors perhaps rerouting Dragic elsewhere.

As for Robinson, he’s a career 42.3% shooter from three-point range, which put him in line for a long-term deal in the range of $16-18MM per year — that’s what sharpshooters Joe Harris and Davis Bertans received in free agency a year ago and the 27-year-old Robinson is a little younger than both players.

The Heat still have the mid-level exception at their disposal as they look for additional rotation upgrades around Lowry, Robinson, Butler, and Bam Adebayo.

Free Agent Rumors: Lowry, DeRozan, Knicks, Graham, Jackson, More

Now considered to be favorites to land Kyle Lowry in free agency, the Heat may try to bring in DeMar DeRozan as well, tweets Jordan Schultz of ESPN, confirming a series of reports from the last 24 hours.

Lowry and DeRozan were backcourt partners in Toronto for many years and have remained close friends. Miami is looking at a sign-and-trade as the best way to add Lowry, and is hoping that DeRozan might be available for the mid-level exception. That represents a big pay cut, but sources tell Schultz he might be interested if it means a chance to play alongside Lowry again.

If DeRozan turns down the MLE, the Heat will focus on finding a stretch four, says Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (Twitter link). There is support among the front office for Jeff Green, according to Jackson, who mentions Bobby Portis, Rudy Gay and Otto Porter as other options.

Meanwhile, Goran Dragic is expected to be part of a sign-and-trade with Toronto for Lowry, but the Raptors are unlikely to keep him. The Mavericks will be among the teams with interest in Dragic, according to Jackson (Twitter link).

Miami would also like to bring back reserve center Dewayne Dedmon, but he may get better offers, says Jackson (Twitter link). The Heat, who only hold Non-Bird rights on Dedmon, may have to offer part of their $3.6MM biannual exception to be competitive.

There’s more as the start of free agency draws closer:

  • The Knicks have some mutual interest with DeRozan, as well as Celtics shooting guard Evan Fournier, writes Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Begley also hears that Bulls guard Tomas Satoransky would be part of the potential return in a sign-and-trade if Chicago lands Pelicans RFA Lonzo Ball, while rival teams expect Duncan Robinson to re-sign with the Heat.
  • While he isn’t necessarily their Plan A or B, Cameron Payne is one of the free agent point guards on the Knicks‘ radar, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. New York has considered a Payne/Derrick Rose tandem at point guard for next season, Berman adds.
  • The Thunder are seen by rival executives as a possible suitor for Hornets guard Devonte’ Graham, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Graham is a restricted free agent, so Charlotte can match any offer, but Oklahoma City has the cap flexibility necessary to put pressure on the Hornets.
  • The Pelicans, Knicks, Celtics, and Nuggets are among the teams expected to express interest in point guard Reggie Jackson, per Sam Amick of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • EuroLeague standout Tyler Dorsey, who previously played for Atlanta and Memphis, is positioned for a return to the NBA and is drawing interest from several teams, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.