Windhorst made sure to say this is just a hypothetical scenario, but he laid out an interesting reason on why it could work for both sides.
“One player that I have thought about would be – could they (the Wolves) call Miami and get Kyle Lowry,” Windhorst said about possibly unloading Russell for Lowry.
“Because he’s the type of veteran guy who I think would really help them. And I think that the Heat might be interested in getting out from that contract. This is a hypothetical.”
Lowry has another season on his contract for over $29 million in the 2023-24 campaign. The Heat have played well with Lowry, making the Eastern Conference Finals last season, but he has seen his numbers decline from his days in Toronto.
The six-time All-Star is shooting just 40.6 percent from the field this season, his lowest percentage since the 2012-13 campaign. While he is shooting 35.4 percent from beyond the arc, Lowry is averaging 13.8 points per game for the Heat, even though Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and others have been out of the lineup at times this season.
A valuable veteran player, Lowry has also been a great facilitator and leader for Miami, but he may not be able to push the Heat over the top in the Eastern Conference.
The Timberwolves are in a tough spot, as they’ve dropped six straight games to fall into the No. 11 spot in the Western Conference.
They’ve struggled without Karl-Anthony Towns, who is out with a calf injury, and they are already paying him and Rudy Gobert big money over the next few seasons.
With Anthony Edwards in line for a big extension, the Wolves may not be able to extend Russell, who is a free agent after the 2022-23 season.
Russell, who made an All-Star team earlier in his career with the Brooklyn Nets, has been an up-and-down player for the Wolves. This season, he’s averaging 17.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game while shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 34.9 percent from 3-point range.
He’d probably be an upgrade offensively for the Heat, but he may not bring the same leadership or defense that Lowry has.
Ultimately, it comes down to whether or not Miami would like to move off of Lowry’s contract early to free up opportunities to bring in new talent.
While Windhorst’s idea is purely hypothetical, it will be interesting to see if the Heat dangle Lowry in the trade market at this season’s trade deadline.