The Toronto Raptors appear to be quietly shopping Kyle Lowry as contract negotiations stall in their Tampa bubble, despite denials from Lowry’s agent. Miami has been linked to the six-time All-Star guard multiple times. Now “rival executives” tell TrueHoop’s Tom Haberstroh that Houston Rockets All-Star guard John Wall may be in play. Both players are “potential targets” in a deadline trade.
Haberstroh reported that Heat brass (read: Pat Riley) will use the six days off during the All-Star break to evaluate if the team has enough ammo on their current roster to return to the NBA Finals. Wall, a five-time All-Star, is averaging 21.0 points and 6.0 assists per game.
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If not, the franchise may be prepared to offer a blockbuster package for either Wall or Lowry. It could include key young building blocks like Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro, and Precious Achiuwa. The asking price? Less than for Harden.
If the Heat decide to make a deal, rival executives wonder if a package centered on Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and Rising Star rookie Precious Achiuwa could net another star. Heat brass have shrewdly signed Kelly Olynyk and Meyers Leonard to mid-tier contracts ($12.6 and $9.4 million respectively). Those are big enough that the Heat can likely satisfy the league’s salary-matching rules should they bring in a high-salaried star.
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Heat May Stand Pat at Trade Deadline
The Heat has somehow managed to sneak into the All-Star break with a .500 record (18-18) despite going long stretches without several key players. Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic, Tyler Herro all missed 10 or more games.
Meyers Leonard was lost for the season and Avery Bradley still isn’t back. It’s pretty remarkable what they have accomplished. And they are only getting healthier.
“Feels good, fresh start when we get back,” Butler said after Thursday’s game. “Get everybody back [after the break], get everybody healthy, it’s good not to have a losing record. I still think we can get a lot better which we will when we get back but it’s good to have some days offer to recover for your mind, for the second half of the season.”
Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra credited the “competitive spirit” in the locker room.
“There’s no doubt about the competitive spirit in our locker room,” Spoelstra said. “We have been through a lot and we have used our experiences to help us get better and this is a great challenge for every team this year. I think this season is captivating, it really is — to figure out how to win games, to figure out how your team can improve, how to get better under different circumstances.”
Antoine Walker Rips Harden Decision
Former Miami Heat forward Antoine Walker ripped the Brooklyn Nets and their decision to trade for James Harden. The Nets are 24-13 and currently hold the number two seed in the Eastern Conference, but Walker remains skeptical. He doesn’t think Harden’s aggressive style of play can bring home a title, no matter how many superstars he’s surrounded by.
“I’m not a James Harden guy, and it’s not personal but you can’t win with that style,” Walker told the “All Things Covered” podcast. “He’s in a very unique situation with [Kevin] Durant and Kyrie [Irving], but it remains to be seen.”
Interesting. Remember, Walker won a championship in South Beach in 2006 alongside Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal.
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