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Kyle Lowry Rumors: Heat 'Very Interested'; Star Eyeing 3-Year Contract, $30M Annually

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 27, 2021

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

The Miami Heat are reportedly "very interested" in signing Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, who is set to enter unrestricted free agency.

Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald shared details of Lowry's reported desired contract parameters Monday: 

"Days before the start of NBA free agency, the Miami Heat remains very interested in impending free agent point guard Kyle Lowry but faces increasing competition.
"According to a source in touch with the player, Lowry would like a guaranteed three-year deal, averaging $30 million per season.
"Even if he doesn’t get $30 million, he’s very likely to command an offer topping $25 million."

The 15-year NBA veteran averaged 17.2 points, 7.3 assists and 5.4 rebounds last season for the Raptors. He made the All-Star Game each year from 2015-2020 and helped lead the Raps to the 2018-19 NBA title.

The Raptors have some tough decisions to make after a disappointing 2020-21 season during which they finished 11th in the Eastern Conference and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2012-13.

It was a trying year for the Raptors, who had to play "home" games in Tampa's Amalie Arena due to COVID-19 concerns and border restrictions. They ultimately lost 10 of their last 11 games to finish the year 27-45.

The Raptors were also shorthanded and injured all year, and no player started more than 56 of the team's 72 games. Lowry was notably out for 26 contests.

The former Villanova star was exceptional when he was on the court, and Toronto could very well bring him back, but interest will be high elsewhere.

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Miami, for instance, is just two years removed from an NBA Finals appearance.

The Heat lost to the eventual NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of last year's playoffs, but they still have a talented crew that includes a pair of All-Stars in Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. An addition like Lowry could vault them into the upper echelon of Eastern Conference title contenders.

Chiang and Jackson noted Miami could also work out a sign-and-trade with Toronto for Lowry rather than signing him outright as a free agent.

"Miami’s other option would be working out a sign-and-trade with Toronto, but it’s questionable if the sides can agree on compensation," they wrote.  "The Heat remains reluctant to include [shooting guard Tyler Herro] in a sign-and-trade for Lowry, according to a source."

For now, the date to watch is Monday, Aug. 2, which is when teams can begin negotiating with free agents.

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