In one of their latest columns, Bleacher Report has dubbed Kyle Lowry as the “dream trade target” for the Miami Heat this offseason.
The Miami Heat are on their way to their first NBA Finals appearance since the 2013-2014 campaign, the last of the LeBron James era. But the jury’s still out on whether or not they’re capable of capturing the title now that they’re faced up with the Western Conference’s best.
That’s why the larger expectation is, no matter the result of this Heat season, they’ll look to upgrade the roster in a big way come the offseason. Whether by trade, the draft, or a free agency signing, Miami is expected to walk into next season boasting three All-Stars on their roster.
“With Goran Dragic entering free agency this offseason, Miami might be just the team to offer those assets (to a retooling Toronto). The Heat will need a point guard, and Lowry fits the mold. He’s exactly the type of smart ad competitive player who Butler and the Miami culture covet.”
It’s wise of Bailey to note Goran Dragic’s status as a free agent, but don’t think for a second the Miami Heat aren’t going to do everything in their power to bring him back for (at least) next year.
That being said, if he does get lured away by a more lucrative, long-term deal, Lowry would prove a very capable replacement. The 34-year old point guard is just one year removed from being the second-best player on a championship-winning Toronto Raptors team.
Lowry averaged 19.4 points, 7.5 assists, five rebounds, and 1.4 steals this season. Next to up and coming star Pascal Siakam, he helped lead the Raptors to a 53-19 record in the regular season.
As Bailey mentions earlier in his column, Lowry has just one year remaining on his contract. So the Miami Heat would be gaining a perennial All-Star while still positioning themselves to have enough cap space for a run at Giannis Antetokounmpo or Victor Oladipo in the 2021 offseason.
Still, the Heat would have to pay Lowry’s $30-million salary next year, and while only $10-million short of what they’re expected to offer Dragic; that’s a hefty portion of their salary cap. Tyler Herro’s surge in the playoffs while manning the point guard position doesn’t help either.
While it’s not yet certain whether or not he’ll be capable of manning the position full time by the start of next season, Miami could spend lesser money on a more veteran point guard with hopes of promoting Herro to the starting slot by the middle or later parts of next season.
The Miami Heat are going to make some changes to this roster in the offseason, presumably significant upgrades. Whether or not Kyle Lowry is the answer to questions they’ll be assessing after this season is unclear, with their postseason push not yet finished.
Before the Miami Heat can begin assessing their offseason needs, they’ll need to see how far much further they can get in these playoffs. After losing Game 5, they’ll once again look to eliminate the Boston Celtics in Game 6 on Sunday. Tip-of is scheduled for 7:30 pm EST.