Kyle Lowry’s move to the Miami Heat during the summer of 2021 wasn’t just some throwaway move or run-of-the-mill shuffling of parts. It was a veritable swing for the fences, and one that wasn’t executed without a measure of pain.
In addition to taking on an eye-popping $85-million financial commitment (for a player in his mid-30s) as a result of the swap, the team was also forced to part with one of South Beach’s favorite sons in Goran Dragic, as well as an intriguing developmental piece in Precious Achiuwa.
So, the fact that Heat fans have been in their feelings over the ho-hum return on investment to this point should hardly come as a surprise.
With the disparity between Lowry’s expected performance in Miami and what he has actually brought to the table growing larger all the time, those calling for some kind of move with the baller are growing louder by the day. Meanwhile, ESPN’s front office insider, Bobby Marks, just pitched a cash-out move with the 2019 NBA champion.
Proposed Trade Brings Former No. 2 Pick D’Angelo Russell to the Miami Heat
As part of his latest batch of trade-deadline predictions, Marks proposed a swap involving the Heat as the one he “would like to see” from the Minnesota Timberwlves ahead of the Association’s February 9 deal-making backstop.
Here’s the deal that he proposed involving Lowry — who could be better fit in Minny alongside Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert and Anthony Edwards — which also saw the Heat dumping Dedmon, who has been outliving his usefulness as a backup big since, oh… March of 2022 or so:
- Minnesota Timberwolves receive PG Kyle Lowry and C Dewayne Dedmom
- Miami Heat receive G D’Angelo Russell and a second-round pick in 2028
While Russell, at different points of his career has been branded with unflattering labels like non-winner, minus-defender, inefficient player, his scoring chops and improving perimeter game probably make him a top-10 point guard in the Association. Additionally, at just 26 years old, he has a lot of tread left on his tires (unlike Lowry).
So far this season, Russell is averaging 17.6 points, 6.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds per outing while hitting pay dirt on an impressive 38.3% of his 6.5 three-point tries per game.
In short, he’s the kind of point-producer and playmaker that could really open things up for the offensively stagnant Heat.
The Heat May Actually Have to Pay Somebody to Take Lowry at This Point
Lowry may be a fringe Hall of Famer when all is said and done, but the truth of the matter right now is that he’s a shell of the player who led the Toronto Raptors to a title four years ago. And Marks didn’t ignore that fact in his write-up.
“Lowry has championship DNA, but this would be a high-risk trade because of his health and deteriorating play the past two seasons,” Marks admitted. “It might be best for Minnesota to pass and focus on the future of Russell in the offseason.”
From the Heat side, there’s a chance that the club may actually have to send out a pick or two in order to convince another team to pay the remainder of Lowry’s checks this season, plus a fully-guaranteed $29.7 million in 2023-24 (a season during which he’ll turn 38).
And given Miami’s dearth of draft assets, such move may be a non-starter for team president Pat Riley, even if it improves the on-court situation this season.