Heat Rumors: Kyle Lowry Trade Coveted; Miami 'High' on LaMarcus Aldridge's List

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2021

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) brings the ball up court against the Charlotte Hornets during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, March 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
Jacob Kupferman/Associated Press

The Miami Heat reportedly could be in line to make some big moves leading up to Thursday's NBA trade deadline.

During an appearance on SportsCenter on Sunday, ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst said the Heat "covet" point guard Kyle Lowry in a potential trade with the Toronto Raptors.

Windhorst also reported that San Antonio Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge has the Heat "high on his list" of landing spots should he receive a buyout.

The Raptors have had a surprisingly poor season, two years removed from winning the NBA championship, as they sit 11th in the Eastern Conference at 17-24.

They are far from out of it since they trail the eighth-place Boston Celtics by just three games and are only 1.5 games out of a spot in the postseason play-in tournament, but there is a chance they could be sellers. If they do decide to make a move, Lowry is a potential trade chip since he is a free agent at the end of the season.

The soon-to-be-35-year-old veteran saw his All-Star streak of six in a row come to an end this season, but he has still been highly productive, averaging 17.6 points, 7.5 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 2.8 three-pointers made in 34 games.

Miami has righted the ship since a rough start to the season, sitting fourth in the Eastern Conference at 22-20, including an 11-3 record in its past 14 games. Lowry would fill a huge need for the Heat, as it would take some of the ball-handling pressure off Jimmy Butler. Lowry would also give the Heat a true point guard, which is something Tyler Herro and Goran Dragic aren't.

Aldridge, 35, figures to become available soon as well, either via trade or buyout, as Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich told ESPN's Tim MacMahon earlier in March that Aldridge and the team "mutually agreed for him to work on some opportunities elsewhere."

While Aldridge is having his worst statistical season since his rookie season with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2006-07, his experience of 1,024 regular-season games and 72 playoff games could come in handy for a Heat team looking to make a deep playoff run.

The seven-time All-Star's 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in 21 contests this season don't jump off the page, but he could be a solid complement to star center Bam Adebayo.

Windhorst noted that signing Aldridge would perhaps allow the Heat to send some of their forward depth to Toronto as part of a Lowry trade.

A roster consisting of Butler, Adebayo, Lowry, Herro, Dragic, Aldridge, Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson would unquestionably make the Heat a threat to reach the NBA Finals for the second consecutive season, even in a conference that includes heavy hitters like the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks.