The Miami Heat added veteran guard Kyle Lowry in a sign-and-trade with the Toronto Raptors. Lowry will play in the same backcourt as Jimmy Butler, who agreed to a contract extension that’s worth $184 million over four years.
The NBA is currently looking into the Lowry deal to determine if there’s been any tampering by Miami. The league is also investigating the Lonzo Ball sign-and-trade to the Chicago Bulls. Lowry signed a three-year deal worth $85 million. The Heat traded Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa to the Raptors in exchange for Lowry.
Lowry averaged 17.2 points, 7.3 assists, and 5.4 rebounds per game last season with the Raptors, who played their home games in Tampa Bay due to Canada’s strict COVID regulations.
Lowry, 35, was a late first-round pick by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2006 NBA Draft. He began his career with the Grizzlies before he was traded to the Houston Rockets in the middle of the 2008-09 season. He joined the Raptors via free agency in 2012 and had been with the club since. Lowry was an integral part of the Raptors championship run in 2019.
Lowry: Toronto > South Beach
Prior to last season’s trade deadline, Lowry heard his name mentioned in numerous trade rumors; he was linked to the New York Knicks, Miami Heat, LA Clippers, and Philadelphia 76ers, but the Raptors decided to hold on to him. Instead, the Raptors dealt Lowry in the offseason in a sign-and-trade with the Miami Heat.
The Heat brought in Victor Oladipo before the trade deadline, but their gamble didn’t pay off. They knew the injury-prone Oladipo had preexisting injuries, but hoped he could provide them with a steady scoring output. When he’s healthy, Oladipo is an All-Star as a hard-nosed, two-way player and scorer. With Oladipo out for an unknown amount of time heading into the 2021-22 season, Pat Riley finally brought Lowry to South Beach.
Lowry is a career 36.8% shooter from 3-point range, but he knocked down 44.8% of his uncontested treys since they began tracking that type of data a decade ago. Erik Spoelstra will run a lot of pick-and-rolls with Bam Adebayo and Lowry, which should be fun to watch next season.
Lowry also becomes the steady and reliable scoring option that the Heat have desperately needed since Jimmy Butler joined the team. Adebayo, Butler, and Lowry are a solid core for the Heat, but they still lack the firepower to compete with the Brooklyn Nets and their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving.
Butler Extended Through 2026
Butler, 31, is in the prime of his career. He led a young Heat squad to a berth in the 2020 NBA Finals during the NBA Bubble at Disney World. The Heat ran out of gas when they faced LeBron James and the LA Lakers in the championship.
The Heat were ahead of schedule and achieved success with Butler faster than anyone expected. They struggled last season, however, and many of their glaring liabilities were exploited by opposing teams. The Heat lived and died by the 3-point shot. On nights when they were hot, they were tough to beat. On nights when they shot blanks, they stunk up the gym.
“Jimmy is the anchor and face of our franchise along with Bam and Kyle,” said Miami Heat president Pat Riley. “With Jimmy, we get an All-NBA player, an All-NBA Defensive player, tough as nails, and a complete player across the board. He’s very deserving of this contract as he continually puts himself at the top of the league at his position. Having him in the Heat organization has been a great, great coup for us.”
Last season, Butler averaged 21.5 points per game, but he also posted career highs with 7.1 assists and 6.9 rebounds per game. His defensive prowess didn’t go unnoticed either, and he was named to the NBA’s All-Defense Team for the fifth time in his career.
Butler and Lowry are close friends and they’re able to play together for the first time in their careers. LeBron James added his buddies Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook to the LA Lakers last week in hopes of bringing a second title to the Lakers in the past three seasons.
The Miami Heat are +2800 odds to win the 2022 NBA championship.