An era of Toronto Raptors basketball headlined by Kyle Lowry appears to be coming to a close this offseason, the Miami Heat have frequently been mentioned as a potential landing spot. In addition to their need for a point guard with Lowry’s production and veteran moxie, Lowry and Heat star Jimmy Butler are close friends.
With the selection of Scottie Barnes with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, the Raptors appear ready to let Lowry chase a championship. While Miami has been linked to Lowry heavily over the last few months, they aren’t the only team that wants him.
Lowry and DeMar DeRozan have reportedly been talking about linking back up with the Lakers, and the Pelicans were able to make a few moves with the aim of creating extra space for Lowry. The Mavericks have their fingers in the pie as well. Still, the Heat are one of the favorites to land him, and they might accomplish this via sign-and-trade.
Pat Riley picked up the $19.4 million option on Goran Dragic’s deal, and Adrian Wojnarowski hinted that Miami could try to use this as an incentive for Toronto to sign-and-trade Lowry to Erik Spoelstra and the Heat.
Could the Toronto Raptors trade Kyle Lowry for Goran Dragic?
As Blake Murphy of The Athletic notes, a sign-and-trade with Dragic would eat up almost all of Toronto’s available cap space. Replacing one 35-year-old point guard with another in Dragic, who is clearly inferior when compared to Lowry, might not appeal for a team trying to get younger.
However, Dragic is fresh off of a season in which he averaged 13.4 points per game on 43% shooting, so he is not without value. With Lowry likely to earn a lot more than $19.4 million per year, the Heat could throw in young players like Precious Achiuwa or KZ Okpala in order to make the money match up.
In Miami, Lowry would form one of the more fearsome heads in a hydra that already features Butler, standout center Bam Adebayo, and, potentially, two young shooters in Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro. That could make them the favorites in the wide-open Southeast Division.
The Raptors face long odds when it comes to retaining Lowry, so fans might need to brace for the possibility of Lowry in a different red and black uniform this offseason. At least if he goes to Miami on a long-term contract, he will be a part of a team that could easily compete for several championships in the next few years.