The reporting out of Toronto says not to expect a Kyle Lowry trade at the deadline.
That’s not going to stop rumors around the NBA.
The latest is that Miami has had conversations with Toronto about a Lowry trade, as reported by Michael Scotto at Hoopshype.
Miami expressed interest in acquiring Raptors six-time All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic, Kelly Olynyk and Kendrick Nunn were discussed, league sources told HoopsHype.
Lowry is the greatest Raptor in franchise history, the face of the franchise through its best years and winning a title, and he has talked about wanting to retire a Raptor. It’s very possible he is not traded, then this summer the 35-year-old re-signs in Toronto and ends his career north of the border.
If he is open to moving on, the biggest challenge in a Lowry trade is his $30 million salary — that’s a lot to match for a guy who can walk as a free agent after the season. The deal could work with Miami sending out Dragic, Olynyk, and a young player the Raptors may like, such as Precious Achiuwa; except that Dragic has veto power over any trade.
Dragic, 34, is a one-year Bird player, which gives him veto power over any trade. If he agrees to be moved and his new team declines his team option, his Bird rights get reduced to non-Bird in his upcoming free agency. His new team would be limited to re-signing him to a starting salary worth 120 percent of his $18 million salary for this season. However, that really isn’t a limitation since that $21.6 million figure would be the most he’s ever earned in a season. If he declines a trade, it could also be because he doesn’t want to join a particular team and wants to remain in Miami.
Lowry’s salary makes trades to other teams equally difficult to execute.
Most likely, this is going to be a quiet trade deadline — there are more buyers than sellers, and some of the biggest names such as Lowry, Andre Drummond, and LaMarcus Aldridge have large and hard-to-match contracts — but the rumors about the big names will continue. Lowry will be in the middle of them, and Miami is active in looking for help (although more at the power forward spot).
Lowry to Miami is unlikely, but with Pat Riley and Masai Ujiri heading the franchises, the unexpected is certainly possible.