A week has passed since the Miami Heat lost to the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, a heartbreaking 100-96 loss that abruptly ended their postseason journey.
Because the Heat entered the playoffs as the No. 1 team in the East and came within one game of punching their ticket to the NBA Finals, no one is expecting Miami to do a full overhaul of their roster before next season.
While the onslaught of possible trade suggestions from NBA pundits is expected in the aftermath of defeat, and the Heat may very well make a move or two this offseason, any trade proposal involving point guard Kyle Lowry is D.O.A., according to Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman.
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Lowry, who signed a three-year $85 million contract with the Heat last summer, was one of the main reasons Miami entered the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the East. While the 36-year-old veteran fell apart during the postseason, unable to power through a nagging hamstring injury, Lowry isn’t going anywhere next season, because Jimmy Butler isn’t going anywhere next season.
“Whether the notion is the Heat need to move on from Kyle Lowry or reset with some type of Jimmy Butler trade, the reality is the two are a package deal, with Kyle signing with the Heat because of Jimmy, and Jimmy pushing for the addition of Kyle,” Winderman wrote on June 3.
“And while Kyle was hurt during the playoffs, to cast his first season with the Heat as a failure goes against the very heights of the playoffs that the team reached.”
Best friendship with Butler aside, because Lowry looked like a shell of the NBA champion that he is, missing eight playoff games due to his hamstring injury, there’s a strong hope that if he was at full health, the final series against the Celtics would’ve ended differently.
The Heat Must Address Lowry’s ‘Conditioning’ Before Next Season
While Lowry doesn’t need to worry about the Heat trading away this summer, he does need to get into shape. Winderman noted that “after the inability to be himself during the playoffs that conditioning should be prioritized. The Heat have been good about avoiding any type of public shaming… It well could prove to be a delicate dance between both sides, one likely to be handled privately, but one that certainly needs to be addressed.
The six-time All-Star’s official NBA profile lists him at 6-foot and 196 pounds, Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson insinuated that that number can no longer be accurate.
As for whether or not Lowry can return to his All-Star status next season, “one key will be determining what weight Lowry should return at, something not publicly addressed by the team,” Jackson wrote.
Miami Heat’s head coach Erik Spoelstra addressed the Lowry situation during his final press conference. Coach Spo made it clear that his starting point guard would not just be back next season, but that Lowry would return in the best shape of his life.
“You have to take into account everything, the missed games, the injuries, ramp up in the middle of the series,” Spoelstra said, as reported by Jackson.
“These are not excuses. It’s just reality. Kyle was in an incredible groove about six weeks before the playoffs. If we had started the playoffs now, it would be a perfect time for him. Kyle will come back next training camp in the best shape of his career. That’s important as you get further into your career and into your 30s… That is your ultimate opponent, father time, and Kyle understands that. He trains hard, works at it behind the scenes.”
Lowry Said He’s Looking to Get ‘Better Over the Summer’
Lowry, who missed 17 regular-season games due to a family medical issue, said that he’s looking forward to putting down firmer roots, and turning things around next season.
“I think everything helps, having some continuity with the team and understanding who you’re going to be there with and tendencies and understand the offense, terminologies, defensive schemes, offensive schemes, emotions, personalities.
Sitting next to Butler during the press conference on May 29, “We look forward to the opportunity of getting better over the summer and getting back to this opportunity next year,” Lowry concluded.