While Miami Heat‘s acquisition of Kyle Lowry remains under investigation by the NBA, there’s no doubting the six-time All-Star landed exactly where he wanted to be, playing right alongside best friend Jimmy Butler in South Beach.
After nine seasons with the Raptors, Lowry joined the Heat in a sign-and-trade deal that involved Miami sending Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa to Toronto. Lowry signed his three-year $85 million contract on August 6, which was $5 million less than his original asking price.
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Now, $85 million is nothing to sniff at, but Lowry was offered his full asking price prior to signing with the Heat. According to Miami Herald‘s Barry Jackson, the New Orleans Pelicans and Dallas Mavericks were ready to pay Lowry the full $90 million.
“We’re told Dallas finished second behind the Heat for Lowry; he was intrigued by the Mavericks, who were willing to meet his price tag, but he preferred playing with Butler in Miami,” Jackson reported. “New Orleans was willing to go to $90 million over three years or more, according to a source, but Lowry never leaned toward going there, according to the source. Lowry took three years and $85 million from Miami.”
The 35-year-old remains one of the top point guards in the entire league. Last season, Lowry averaged 17.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game.
Lowry Said Butler Would’ve Been Fine If He Decided to Sign With a Different Team
When Lowry was asked what it will be like playing alongside Butler, “Fiery,” Lowry said, per Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman. “That’s how it’s going to be on the court every day.”
The two got to know each other as members of Team USA at the 2016 Rio Olympics and a few years later, Butler, 31, asked Lowry to be the godfather of his daughter Rylee, who was born in 2019.
Lowry said Butler has been trying to get him to Miami for a long time, but wouldn’t have been mad if he ultimately decided to sign with another team.
He kind of was continuing to chirp about it and talk to me about it. But as a true friend, it doesn’t matter what decision I made, he was going to support me. But he was really on me about coming to the Heat and kind of fulfilling some things that we talked about before and trying to possibly play together.
Lowry’s Sign-and-Trade Will Remain Under Investigation for a Few Weeks
While the Heat were long considered the frontrunners to sign Lowry, suspicion of tampering arose when the veteran guard confirmed he was heading to Miami on Twitter at 6:38 p.m. ET. Per NBA rules, a team is not allowed to make contact with the free agent or his representatives until the start of free agency, 6 p.m. ET on August 2.
The NBA is investigating whether or not the Heat contacted Lowry and/or his agent regarding a potential contract before 6 p.m. on Monday. It seems if Lowry and the Heat would’ve been in the clear if they just waited a little bit longer to announce the trade.
ESPN analyst and former Nets executive Bobby Marks told the Miami Herald‘s Anthony Chiang, “There was a team that complained, and now it’s the league’s job to investigate it.”
In addition to the Mavericks and Pelicans, numerous other teams were interested in Lowry before free agency started. It could be that another franchise, who felt like they didn’t get a fair shot at signing the veteran guard, reported Miami to the NBA.
Winderman tweeted on August 7, “Heat not being investigated for ‘tampering’ but for ‘gun jumping,’ over timing of Lowry move. Been told process almost assuredly will not “unwind” the acquisition, but could involve draft pick, fines, sanctions. Expectation of process, “a couple of weeks, at least.”