Kyle Lowry Rumors: Heat, Mavs, Pelicans to 'Be at the Forefront' in Pursuit of PG

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJuly 30, 2021

MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 24: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat and Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors hug  prior to the game at American Airlines Arena on February 24, 2021 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Kyle Lowry will be one of the top free agents on the market next week, and he's expected to have high-profile suitors.

According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, the Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans "will be at the forefront of the pursuit" for Lowry. The veteran point guard is "the top target for all three teams," though the Heat "appear to have a recruiting advantage through Lowry's close relationship with Miami star Jimmy Butler."

Along with that potential edge, the Heat also have the necessary cap space to sign Lowry, who reportedly wants a deal in the range of three years and $90 million.

Assuming the Heat don't exercise team options on Goran Dragic ($19.4 million) and Andre Iguodala ($15 million), they will have $74.1 million in salaries. With the salary cap at $112.4, per Spotrac, the Heat will have $38.3 million in cap space.

Some of that money likely will go to retaining restricted free agent Duncan Robinson. But the Heat have Bird rights on Robinson, so they could sign Lowry and then match any Robinson offer sheet or sign him to a long-term deal that takes them over the salary cap.

The Heat would be contenders with a core of Butler, Lowry, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro, though whether that would push them above the Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers, among others, is debatable. 

The Mavericks, meanwhile, have an active roster cap of $91 million, which gives them $21.4 million heading into free agency. That could increase to $37.1 million if Josh Richardson declines his $11.6 million player option and the Mavs cut Willie Cauley-Stein and his non-guaranteed $4.1 million contract. 

Brad Townsend @townbrad

Nico Harrison says Mavs haven't been informed yet whether Josh Richardson will opt in to $11.6M contract for next season. Harrison says Mavs are in close contact with Richardson's agent (Bill Duffy) and Harrison says he believes Richardson will take full allotted time (Sunday).

The Mavericks could also attempt a sign-and-trade with the Raptors, which might clear up more money to retain Tim Hardaway Jr. in free agency.

A starting lineup of Lowry, Hardaway, Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis and Dorian Finney-Smith would be a lot of fun. Dallas would probably still need another piece to become an upper-echelon contender, though. 

Finally, the Pelicans freed up $21.2 million in a reported trade with the Memphis Grizzlies. That puts them around $34.8 million in cap space. And if the Raptors have interest in Lonzo Ball, the two sides could work out a double sign-and-trade.

The Pelicans are probably the furthest away from contention of these three teams, but a Big Three of Lowry, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram would be expected to get the Pelicans into the postseason.

Lowry could have other suitors as well. The New York Knicks (with plenty of cap space) and Philadelphia 76ers (if they work out a complicated sign-and-trade with Toronto) make sense as potential landing spots.