Kyle Lowry Trade Rumors: Raptors Star Preferred Heat Deal over Lakers, 76ers

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 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

Kyle Lowry remained with the Toronto Raptors at the trade deadline, but the guard reportedly would have preferred a move to the Miami Heat if he had been dealt, according to Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer.

Lowry reportedly has a "close friendship" with Heat star Jimmy Butler, while the team also has the funds to sign the pending free agent to a new deal. 

The Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers were also in the race for Lowry but don't have cap space to re-sign him in the offseason.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported the Heat, Lakers and 76ers were all "seriously engaged" with Toronto before Thursday's deadline.

The demand made sense considering what Lowry can bring to the table as a six-time All-Star who is currently averaging 17.2 points, 7.4 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game. He was also instrumental in bringing Toronto its first NBA title in franchise history in 2019 and brings with him 97 games worth of playoff experience.

Joining the Lakers or 76ers might have put him on the path to another title this season.

Los Angeles won last year's championship and remain an elite team when healthy thanks to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Philadelphia currently has the best record in the Eastern Conference (32-14) with a pair of All-Stars in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

Miami hasn't been quite as good this season (22-24) but the squad reached the NBA finals last year and still have an exciting core led by Butler and Bam Adebayo.

Lowry would fit perfectly as another tough defensive player on the perimeter who can also create his own looks offensively. His 39.8 three-point percentage in 2020-21 would be extremely valuable for a potential playoff run.

Even if the Heat didn't pull the trigger on a trade, they can still target him in the offseason if they don't re-sign new addition Victor Oladipo.