The Miami Heat are clearing cap space heading into NBA free agency this week with the hopes of going after veteran PG Kyle Lowry, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday afternoon. Lowry was kept by the Toronto Raptors before the NBA trade deadline in 2020-21 after being sought after by multiple teams, including the Heat. The same figures to happen when the free agent negotiation period opens at 6 p.m. ET on Monday.
Miami is going to try and lure the veteran to South Beach to join Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo in hopes to get back into title contention. The Heat declined to pick up the option on G/F Andre Iguodala’s contract, per Woj. That cleared $15 million in cap, though the Heat also picked up the team option on PG Goran Dragic at $19.4 million. Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson are both set to become restricted free agents and could be lured away on an offer sheet to another team. If that’s the case, the Heat landing Lowry would be huge.
Update — Woj now mentions that the Heat picking up the option on Dragic’s contract could be a precursor to a sign-and-trade with the Raptors for Lowry.
The Heat's decision to pick up the $19.4M option on Goran Dragic's deal is a possible precursor in utilizing him as part of a potential sign-and-trade with Toronto for Kyle Lowry, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 1, 2021
With Victor Oladipo, Trevor Ariza and Nemanja Bjelica off the books on Friday, the Heat will have plenty of money to throw at Lowry, who made $30.5 million in his final year with the Raptors. It’s unlikely Lowry commands similar money on a new deal, but something in the $20-25 million range seems likely on a 2-3 year deal with a player option. At this point, it makes sense for Lowry to go chasing another title after helping the Raptors win in 2019. Lowry would boost the Heat back into the upper-echelon of the East with the Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers.