However, after learning the 35-year-old guard’s asking price, Miami’s front office might balk at moving forward with a deal. The six-time All-Star is looking for a three-year contract worth $90 million, Five Reasons Sports Network’s Adam Borai reported.
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Borai tweeted on July 26, “The Heat are still in on Kyle Lowry, however the deal Kyle is looking for is in the range of $90 Million over 3 years. I personally think that the 3rd year has to be fully guaranteed. Some on the Heat are confident but I still wouldn’t count out Philly or LA.”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski also reported that Lowry is looking for big money this summer. “There’s a big market for Kyle Lowry,” Wojnarowski said. “You’re talking potentially $25 million to $30 million a year for Kyle Lowry, it’s going to be expensive to get at him in free agency or a sign-and-trade.”
Lowry finished the 2020-21 NBA season averaging 17.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
Miami Heat’s Best Option to Land Lowry Will Be Through a Sign-and-Trade
ESPN analyst Bobby Marks discussed what the Heat would need to do in order to land Lowry this summer with the Miami Herald, and said it would make sense if Miami is willing to operate as an over-the-cap team. As insurance, the Heat should sign the $4.7 million qualifying offers to both Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson to officially make them restricted free agents.
“I think the only way you operate with room is that you know you have somebody lined up already,” Marks said. “Like if Kyle Lowry said, ‘I’m going to come here for $20 million.’ Then you need space. You don’t decline the options, act as a team with room and then all of a sudden you’re throwing darts at the dart board with a blindfold on. That’s not how they operate.”
If Miami wants to pull off a sign-and-trade for Lowry, The Athletic’s John Hollinger offered up “a sign-and-trade of [Andre] Iguodala, [KZ] Okpala and [Precious] Achiuwa for Lowry,” which “would extend the Heat’s cap room, and the Raptors would walk away with two young frontcourt players.”
The Heat Have Pulled Off Expensive & Complicated Sign-and-Trades Before
One interesting aspect of a sign-and-trade deal is that it must guarantee the players involved be signed for at least three seasons, per Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang: “While the first year of the contract must be fully guaranteed, the remaining season can be non-guaranteed.”
Therefore, the Heat can get creative in working out a multi-year deal with Lowry if the 35-year-old veteran guard, as they did when acquiring Jimmy Butler in 2019.
“They’ve done it before,” Marks told the Miami Herald of the Heat obtaining Lowry through a sign-and-trade. “The Butler one was as complicated as I’ve ever seen just because of the tax situation they were in. I think it’s based on does Toronto want Goran Dragic? Do they want him at $19 million or maybe they decline the option, and maybe Toronto and Dragic negotiate a deal. Maybe it’s for $12 million in that scenario. I don’t think it’s as complicated as it was from two years ago. It just takes a lot of cooperation from everyone.”
Helping out the Heat in negotiations could be the fact that Lowry is best friends with Butler. In fact, the 14-year NBA vet is the godfather to Butler’s daughter. If Lowry wants to finish out his career playing alongside his close buddy, he may be willing to take a pay cut from his asking price.