In order for the Miami Heat to make a move to obtain Toronto Raptors star Kyle Lowry, the price was always going to be steep, and according to a new report, discussions in South Beach mentioned trading out three Heat players for six-time ALl-Star.
Sources told HoopsHype.com‘s Michael Sotto that Miami discussed offering up Goran Dragic, Kendrick Nunn, and Kelly Olynyk to trade for the 34-year-old guard.
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While the proposed blockbuster deal could absolutely help propel the Heat into a successful postseason run, Dragic’s contract throws a serious roadblock into any proposed trade. Aside from his incredibly close relationship with All-Star Jimmy Butler, the 34-year-old veteran’s contract gives him veto power over any trade. Sotto wrote:
If he agrees to be moved and his new team declines his team option, his Bird rights get reduced to non-Bird in his upcoming free agency. His new team would be limited to re-signing him to a starting salary worth 120% of his $18 million salary for this season. However, that really isn’t a limitation since that $21.6 million figure would be the most he’s ever earned in a season. If he declines a trade, it could also be because he doesn’t want to join a particular team and wants to remain in Miami.
Lowry, who will soon turn 35, is averaging 18 points and 5.5 assists so far this season. Olynyk, 29, who becomes an unrestricted free agent after the season ends, is currently averaging 10.3 points and 2.2 assists. Nunn, 25, who’s proved to be a sufficient back-up when five-time All-Star Jimmy Butler is injured, is averaging 14.9 points and 3.1 assists per game.
Dragic, who’s been limited to just 24 games this season due to injuries, who delivered a monster 20-point fourth quarter in the Heat’s win over the Chicago Bulls on March 12, is averaging 15 points and 4.8 assists.
Lowry Has Not Indicated He’s Ready to Leave the Raptors Despite Selling His $5.3 Million Toronto Home
Lowry has been with the team since the 2012-2013 season, and despite his age, Lowry continues to be a force of production on the court. On February 11, rumors that this would be Lowry’s final year in Toronto went into overdrive after Sports Illustrated’s AllRaptors.com reporter Aaron Rose said that multiple sources revealed to him that NBA star’s home in North York is up for sale. According to Rose, Lowry’s home, which was featured in a 2017 episode of Open Gym, was listed on Monday evening for $5.3 million.
While the Heat don’t have any draft picks to trade, “they could move on him at the trade deadline,” according to Heat Nation, “and match salaries to add him to their roster spot for a playoff run.”
As for what’s causing Lowry to split from Toronto, an Eastern Conference coach believes the Raptors want to build up their young talent and possibly shift the focus to 26-year-old guard Fred VanVleet, whom Lowry considers to be his “little bro.”
“Young guys can’t blossom until you move on from Lowry because the pecking order is still set from the top,” one Eastern Conference coach told Bleacher Report. “If you’re trying to reshape your roster, one thing you need to avoid is duplication.”
‘With Pat Riley, Nothing’s Off the Table’ When It Comes to Blockbuster Trades
If the Raptors pass on the trio of players that is Olynyk, Dragic, and Nunn, another option would be for the Heat to offer up some of their top young talent. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported in February that Miami would have to trade either Duncan Robinson or Tyler Herro if they’re serious about obtaining Lowry.
“The Heat have never appeared keen to move either,” league sources told Bleacher Report, but they also don’t want to waste the All-Star combination that is Bam Adebayo and a Jimmy Butler in his prime.
“You know with Pat Riley, nothing’s off the table,” one rival executive said.