One of those teams could be the Miami Heat. In fact, they have had interest in trading Kyle Lowry for the New Jersey native.
“The idea of Miami trading veteran floor general Kyle Lowry for Irving has been discussed in league circles since December, while Lowry’s performance has declined in the second season of a three-year contract, and league personnel are certainly under the impression the Heat would move Lowry if the right deal presented itself,” wrote Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports. “But it would seem unlikely that Brooklyn, with its designs on contending, would happily take back Lowry in exchange for Irving.”
After Lowry had a solid first season with the team, the Heat have been disappointed in his performance so far this year. He is averaging 12.0 points and 5.3 assists per game while shooting just 39.6 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from 3-point range, numbers he hasn’t put up since his early days in the league.
Although the Heat have been playing much better lately after getting off to a dismal 7-11 start, it is clear they need a major shot in the arm in order to return to championship contention.
Miami currently has a 29-24 record and sits in sixth place in an ultra-competitive Eastern Conference. As currently constituted, it doesn’t appear the team would have any real shot at unseating the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks or Philadelphia 76ers come playoff time.
Offensive firepower has always been the Heat’s weakness, and Irving would address that issue big time. He would give them someone who will consistently get 25-30 points a game, which would allow them to blitz teams early instead of having to fight from behind.
Irving is also a legitimate facilitator and floor general, and he is arguably the best crunch-time performer in basketball today. He could provide Miami with another fire-breathing competitor alongside Jimmy Butler who would punish teams with the game on the line.
However, Irving is one of the NBA’s biggest enigmas, and a legitimate concern would be how he would fit into team president Pat Riley’s culture, which is based upon confrontational accountability. Some have questioned the guard’s commitment to basketball in recent years, and if he lacks such commitment, it would make a bad impression on Riley.