While the Miami Heat scored big obtaining Victor Oladipo from the Houston Rockets and Nemanja Bjelica from the Sacramento Kings before the trade deadline, the highly expected blockbuster move to acquire Toronto Raptors star Kyle Lowry never came to fruition.
Lowry, 35, remaining in Toronto after months of reports linking him to Miami was most one of the most disappointing surprises. However, Miami still believes they can acquire the six-time All-Star over the summer.
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Bleacher Report‘s Farbod Esnaashari reported on April 1:
The Raptors reportedly wanted Tyler Herro, or the Heat’s young core without Herro, but that was a gamble Miami couldn’t take without knowing Lowry’s full desire to play there. Lowry reportedly wants a two-year, $50 million contract in free agency, and a source in the Heat organization told Bleacher Report that the Heat believe they can acquire him in free agency. Another source had mentioned Lowry’s actual asking price was higher than the reported $50 million contract, and closer to $30 million a year. They did also agree that Miami had a great chance of signing Lowry in the offseason.
Jimmy Butler Wanted Lowry to Join the Heat, But Excited About What Oladipo Can Bring to the Team
Jimmy Butler, five-time All-Star and team leader of the Heat, was pushing hard for Lowry to join him in Miami. Esnahaarshi reported that “a source in Butler’s camp said that his main target was Kyle Lowry during the trade deadline, but Butler is open and excited to see what he and Oladipo can do together.”
Butler, whose main focus is always “team first,” has expressed nothing but positivity regarding Oladipo’s potential. As for Oladipo, he’s hoping to stay in Miami for years to come.
Whether or not Oladipo becomes a mainstay in Miami will greatly depend on his current “test drive” with the team, how quickly he assimilates, and how well performs over the next few months.
If things don’t work out with Oladipo, he will likely serve as a placeholder until the Heat can acquire Lowry. Only time will tell, but according to Oladipo, there’s nothing to worry about.
“For me, personally, I thought I definitely could fit into the Heat culture and what they stood for, how they play, how they get after it and things of that nature,” Oladipo said, before making his debut with the team on April 1.
“So when told I was being traded there, first and foremost it’s not like I’m going to a foreign land where I don’t know anybody or a foreign experience. It’s something that I’m comfortable with.”
Oladipo, who turns 29 in May, also expressed respect for the All-Stars already on the team. “Bam [Adebayo] and Jimmy are ultimate competitors,” Oladipo continued. “I believe I am too. I can’t wait. I think our mindsets are the same, and that’s winning, winning at the highest level possible.”