Report: Gabe Vincent and Fred VanVleet consulted Kyle Lowry en route to big paydays

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Gabe Vincent left the Miami Heat as a free agent after reportedly consulting with former veteran teammate Kyle Lowry.

VanVleet also was a teammate of Lowry, with the Toronto Raptors from 2016 to 2021. It is unknown what advice Lowry may have given the two younger players, but each of them cashed in on the biggest contracts they have ever received.

Vincent received a three-year, $33 million deal from the Los Angeles Lakers, and VanVleet will be getting $130 million over three years from the Houston Rockets.

Lowry suffered an injury during last season that allowed Vincent to expand his role, which grew even further in the playoffs after Tyler Herro was injured in Game 1 of the first round.

Vincent and Lowry remained key figures in the Heat backcourt as they navigated their way to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Denver Nuggets in five games. Losing Vincent could be a major blow, but it could be greatly eased now that Damian Lillard reportedly has at long last requested a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers and listed Miami as his preferred destination.

The Heat reportedly are looking to use Lowry and his salary of just under $30 million for this season in a deal for Lillard. Miami also considered waiving and stretching Lowry’s contract but has moved off that idea. It is unknown whether Lowry’s uncertain future with the Heat and how he felt about that may have played into his conversations with Vincent.

Miami also is losing valuable role player Max Strus, who will be on his way to the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of a sign-and-trade. The Heat so far this offseason also have traded Victor Oladipo and draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder to create a trade exception, added Josh Richardson and re-signed Kevin Love.

Lillard has reportedly been talking to Heat players about possibly joining the team, but it is unknown if Lowry is one of them.

The 32-year-old could ultimately solve the Heat’s desire to add another star to play alongside Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo and ease the losses of Vincent and Strus. It seems like enough dominoes have now fallen for Miami to enter full pursuit of its No. 1 offseason target.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. His introduction to the business included the legendary Heat-Knicks rivalry from the 1990s.