Kyle Lowry Rumors: Heat Viewed as Favorites Amid Buzz of Goran Dragic Sign-and-Trade

Blake SchusterContributor IAugust 1, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 2: Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors looks on during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on May 2, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

The Miami Heat are the presumptive favorites to land guard Kyle Lowry following the team's decision to accept the club option on Goran Dragic's contract, according to NBA Insider Marc Stein. 

Miami has minimal salary-cap space to operate with in free agency by bringing Dragic back for $19.4 million in 2021-22. Stein believes the Heat will now use that contract as leverage in a sign-and-trade for Lowry that would net the Eastern Conference contenders a third star alongside Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. 

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine

Miami's status as the favorite to land Kyle Lowry was only enhanced by the decision to pick up Goran Dragic's option for next season, league sources say.<br><br>A sign-and-trade with Toronto for Lowry centered around Dragic's $19.4MM deal for next season is an obvious route to a deal.

Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat

Heat in interesting spot with Dragic, Iguodala team-option Sunday deadlines. If picked up, then no cap space. But if bypassed and they become free agents, then lack of big contract to package in sign-and-trade. Legally can't talk to teams, free agents until after option deadline.

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Lowry's long been intrigued with joining Heat star Jimmy Butler and the Miami organization, and now Miami's maneuvered to have two key elements of a possible sign-and-trade package – Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa -- to offer Raptors once talks can ensue at 6 PM, per sources. <a href="https://t.co/MrpMhhB7aJ">https://t.co/MrpMhhB7aJ</a>

Miami declined to pick up Iguodala's $15 million team option Sunday.

Lowry, 35, is coming off a one-year, $30.5 million deal in Toronto and is considered one of the premier UFA guards available this summer. In 46 games last season the Philadelphia native averaged 17.2 point, 7.3 assists and 5.4 rebounds while shooting 43.6 percent from the field. 

Dragic averaged  13.4 points, 4.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 50 games while playing 26.7 minutes per night by comparison. Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic reported Saturday that Dragic would have a number of postseason contenders interested in signing him if the Heat declined his option.

Rather than lose him in free agency, the Heat now have an opportunity to trade Dragic ahead of the season as they look to retool following a first-round sweep at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks. 

Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat

It now appears (barring something changing . . . welcome to free agency) it could be as simple as Lowry to Heat for Dragic and Achiuwa. Lowry would start at about $26 million, with Heat accommodating the third year. Heat would be hard capped. Dragic buyout from Raptors likely. <a href="https://t.co/7liOCE3C1F">https://t.co/7liOCE3C1F</a>

Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat

If the Heat land Kyle Lowry in sign-and-trade, it will leave them with hard-cap limit of $143M for '21-22.<br>That means fitting in:<br>Jimmy Butler: $36M<br>Bam Adebayo: $28M<br>Kyle Lowry: (Estimated $26M)<br>Tyler Herro: $4M<br>(That's about $94M)<br>Plus Robinson, possibly Nunn, others.

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel believes a deal for Lowry may only consist of Dragic and power forward Precious Achiuwa, who is on a two-year entry level deal that pays him $5.3 million. The No. 20 overall pick in 2020 averaged 5.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and shot 54.4 percent from the field in 12.1 minutes per night last season. 

That deal assumes Lowry will earn a salary of roughly $26 million next season, which Winderman believes to be within the guard's range. 

Stein also noted the Heat would have interest reuniting Lowry with former Raptors teammate DeMar DeRozan in free agency should it land Toronto's star this offseason. The Spurs guard is expected to reach free agency this week.