The Miami Heat reportedly are looking to shed Kyle Lowry’s salary ahead of the trade deadline this season.
“The Heat are notoriously tight-lipped about their plans,” Zillgitt wrote. “But around the league, it’s believed the Heat are willing to shed Kyle Lowry’s contract, which pays him $29.6 million in 2023-24. The Heat, who reached the Finals in 2020 and the conference finals last season, are 21-20 and in eighth place. Lowry is another player who has been linked to a potential deal with the Lakers, and Minnesota sending D’Angelo Russell to Miami for Lowry would net the Heat an expiring contract.”
The Heat are the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference right now, but they have dealt with a ton of injuries to key players such as Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, Lowry, Bam Adebayo, Victor Oladipo and others this season.
Lowry, who has seen his scoring decrease since coming to Miami, is averaging 13.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game while shooting 39.8 percent from the field and 33.6 percent from beyond the arc.
Since the Heat acquired Lowry in a sign-and-trade deal with the Toronto Raptors, the veteran guard has seen his scoring drop from 17.2 points per game in the 2020-21 season to just 13.3 points per game across his two seasons in Miami.
Miami may want to give younger guards like Herro and Vincent more opportunities in the rotation, especially now that Oladipo has also returned to the lineup.
Even though Lowry is a great veteran leader with NBA Finals experience, Miami doesn’t seem to want to pay him in the 2023-24 season if it doesn’t have to.
Making a move with the Lakers (potentially involving Russell Westbrook) or with the Wolves for Russell would free up money for the Heat following the 2022-23 season.
A six-time All-Star, Lowry is shooting his worst percentages from 3 and from the field since the 2009-10 season when he was with the Houston Rockets.
It may be hard for the Heat to net a solid player in return for Lowry unless another team is willing to take on his contract for next season.
The Heat have a solid core in place, and they’ve made the Eastern Conference Finals in two of the last three seasons. It’s hard to see Miami trading Lowry unless it believes it can get a player that will still help it compete for an NBA title this season.