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Report: Kyle Lowry, Miami Heat have ‘mutual interest’

Jun 17, 2014, 10:31 PM EST

Toronto Raptors v Portland Trail Blazers Getty Images

This summer will be an extremely interesting one for the Heat, as the team that was crushed in the Finals by the Spurs looks to reload its roster to make it back for a credible shot at a title again next season.

But before adding new talent, the Heat first need to see whether or not all of its most important existing pieces will remain in place.

It all starts with LeBron James, obviously, who along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh can opt out of the final two years of their respective contracts to become unrestricted free agents.

There are plenty of options for the Miami Big Three to consider if they choose to stay, and exactly how each of them decides to structure their individual contracts moving forward will play a key role in just how much talent the team can surround them with next season.

Should there be a wealth of salary cap space created by these guys opting out and signing long-term for less, there’s at least one very good player on the market who is available, and would be an immense upgrade at a position where one is desperately needed.

“The guy who has mutual interest with the Heat and plays a position of need would be Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors,” reports ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. “But that, again, is a long shot unless these guys take big pay cuts.”

The mutual interest part seems silly, considering that most free agents would sign up to play in Miami alongside James, Wade and Bosh if the contract price was right. But Lowry simply seems like he’d cost too much.

The Raptors guard played at an All-Star level for the majority of the season and into the playoffs, and is in line for a hefty contract in free agency that was well-earned. The Heat stars would need to all take significantly less money in order to add a fourth high-caliber talent to the roster, and just as it isn’t clear yet if they’ll all be back, it’s even less certain that everyone would leave several million on the table in order to add anything less than a sure thing — someone like Carmelo Anthony comes to mind, but that scenario seems less likely and more far-fetched.

Lowry seemed like he was envisioning himself as part of Toronto’s future shortly after his team’s playoff loss to the Nets, but that will only be the case if the deal offered by the Raptors is in line with what he can get somewhere else. Either way, Miami will be hard-pressed to free up enough money to make a serious run at a costly talent like Lowry — unless James, Wade and Bosh all are convinced he’s the critical piece that will put them back into championship contention.

  1. mcjon22 - Jun 17, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    Not a heat fan, but with the lack of size and depth off the bench, and giving the age of the roster, I wouldn’t give more than the mid level exception to him.

    Not that he’s not worth more, but there’s other holes that have to get filled and D Wade isn’t getting younger and will never play another full season in His career.

    • 00maltliquor - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:25 AM

      Agreed. They really need a worthwhile big more then anything. As lackluster as Chalmers and Cole are, they don’t need a PG as a bad as a C that can protect the rim and rebound. James is the defacto PG and even Wade can fill that need. But if they can’t get that big then Lowry would be a great option. This offseason is gonna be very fun to say the least, not just for the Heat, but for a lot of teams.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:03 AM

        I’m not so sure about that. They don’t have any guard that is fast enough to get by any defender, and who is also a genuine threat to score reliably. That is a major issue.

        Wade has problems getting around even slow footed defenders. No one is afraid of Chalmers or Cole lighting them up so they don’t attract the kind of defensive attention you’d like when they penetrate. And Ray Allen is Ray Allen – and he may not even be back.

        A guard like Lowry would open up so many things up for any team. He’s a threat to hit the three, but if you play up on him he’ll blow past you, and when he gets by you, because he’s such a threat to score, that will attract the defense – open looks abound. And he’s fast enough just to beat defensive rotations.

        That’s exactly what the Heat are missing from their guards. It’s definitely not enough just to have one perimeter player on the team that is capable of doing these things.

      • johnc44 - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:06 AM

        As a Heat “hater” i hope their big off season move is paying big for a 6 foot PG who shots 41.8
        There are reasons Lowry is getting ready to play for his 4th team in 9 seasons.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:07 AM

        If they get Lowry, it’s another star and even though the “Big Three” will have had to lower their salaries to get Lowry, Lowry will take that money and the Heat will still have minimal to spend on their many other holes…

        Birdman, not the greatest big man, but he’s opting out and it only takes one team out there to offer him a bit more and he’s gone.

        Ray, could retire. Shane, on a beach somewhere already I bet.

        Too many holes. So the Heat try to become a version of a “Bigger 4″ and then everyone else.

        Talk about a team with have and have nots…

        They’s have LBJ, Bosh, Wade and Lowry making good money and then they’d be “selling” playing with Lebron, Miami weather and the chance at a title to get others to play for NBA peanuts.

        The Heat are in a tough spot. Numbers are numbers.

        Luxury tax will be $77 million this coming season. If, all of the Big Three opt in, they’d make $61 million combined.

        That leaves $16 million for 12 other roster spots. Do the math, a tad over a million per each of the 12 roster spots.

        Now, if the Big 3 opt out and resign for less, let’s say they make $55 million combined…

        Now they have $22 million to spend on 12 other roster spots or less than $2 million a spot.

        There are going to be a LOT of league minimum salaries to guys on their bench and those are not the kind of solid, decent role players that a championship team needs.

        Now, if Wade and Bosh were still like they were from 2010 to 2013, this would all be a MOOT point.

        That is the REAL problem. Their Big 3 is now a Big 1. And with the money going to the other two, it kills them.

        With 15 men on a roster, 2 can’t be so overpaid compared to their production while keeping the team at a championship level as there will be another team or two that gets their mix right and will be able to beat what the Heat have right now…

      • gatorfan1 - Jun 18, 2014 at 4:37 PM

        antistratfordian:

        I seriously have to ask you. Why would any pg play in Miami knowing Lebron dominates the ball so much. I truly do believe that Norris & Chalmers were hurt not having the opportunity to develop as leaders during the reg. season. Certainly looking at how the Spurs develop their depth is impressive. Like to hear your thoughts on this.

  2. fanofthegame79 - Jun 17, 2014 at 11:00 PM

    The Heat need a defensive-minded point guard, not one that takes the ball out of LeBron’s hands. LeBron, by all measures, is the Heat’s “point guard”; he has the ball in his hands most of the time and does most of the creating for his teammates.

    Personally, I would take Melo over Lowry….but I’d take a good center over either of them.

    • vapor54 - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:52 AM

      fanof- EXACTLY

  3. haaaaasoooooo - Jun 17, 2014 at 11:32 PM

    Isaiah Thomas?

    • apkyletexas - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:42 AM

      Steve Nash.

    • dls612 - Jun 18, 2014 at 4:49 AM

      Not a bad idea! I like it!

      • dls612 - Jun 18, 2014 at 4:55 AM

        Isaiah not Steve Nash

    • andreboy1 - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:46 AM

      Thomas doesn’t play any D and loves to shoot. They don’t need that type of PG.

  4. jolink653 - Jun 17, 2014 at 11:34 PM

    I’m really enjoying how the Heat, according to these reports, have been entirely focused on the wrong position. They don’t need a point guard; Chalmers is more than serviceable. They want to sign Melo/Lowry/etc, when they are in desperate need of a big man in the paint who can play defense and give them something at the offensive end. Birdman is gone and they have literally no one down there. Spurs abused them inside, and if the Pacers hadn’t gone completely in the toilet, Hibbert could have easily swung that series in Indiana’s favor

  5. elcapitanfiscal - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:04 AM

    They need a center..bosh is a forward who plays like a guard

    • aircorwin - Jun 18, 2014 at 5:59 AM

      He can’t dribble, so you can’t say he plays like a guard. He’s a forward who plays like a ninny; prefers to take long shots so he doesn’t get hit inside the paint. Also, he’s a dude who looks like a dinosaur, he’s more fit to be the Raptors’ mascot.

      • bkbell3 - Jun 18, 2014 at 6:39 AM

        Aircorwin, Bosh is playing within the offense and roll that the team gave him and he has adjusted pretty well to it. His points are down about 3 per game and his rebounds are down about 2 per game from Toronto. He is shooting a higher % with much less touches because lbj and wade dominate the ball. They should post him up more and run more offense thru him but they want him to space the floor and draw big men away from the lane so others can attack the paint and kick to open guys. I think they miss use him esp. when they are struggling to score. I also don’t get why Beasley who can score and rebound and shot 50% and 39% from the 3pt line and is 6’10” wasn’t in the rotation and they didn’t use Oden at all either.

  6. timcast12 - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:34 AM

    Only way Lebron wins championships is with a bunch of stars, how sad

    • davidly - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:16 AM

      That’s true of any championship teams; it’s just accentuated in the mind of many fans because “the big three” in this particular case sought out their own destiny. Just because it was less challenging for Miami to bring them together doesn’t mean it was no challenge; it was a unique experiment that worked for a time. I think any great player in LBJ’s shoes would have seriously considered the opportunity.

    • engh533 - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:01 AM

      Name any championship team that has only one star … I DARE YOU!!!!!

      • johnc44 - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:28 AM

        The bad boys of Detroit

      • zickhead - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:54 AM

        The Mavs only had Dirk. Chandler never made all star team before that and Kidd was old, same as saying Ray Allen is a star on Heat. In that case the Heat have 4 stars and still can’t win.

      • johnc44 - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:18 AM

        For that matter the 2004 Pistons won with no stars!
        B.Wallace,R.Wallace,T.Prince,R.Hamilton & C.Billups.

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 18, 2014 at 4:59 PM

        This years Spurs.

      • bknowledge - Jun 19, 2014 at 8:49 AM

        Hakeem won his first championship (against the Knicks) with a bunch of role players…some very good role players, but nobody anyone would consider a star player. (his teammates went to 1 all star game in their careers combined)

  7. marcusfitzhugh - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:00 AM

    How many of these “Big 3 opting out and signing long-term for less” articles are going to be run?

    Here’s the answer – if Riley can get 11 allstars to sign for $6.5M each, and Spoelstra doesn’t get outcoached by Pop, then the Heat can make good on the half a dozen championships they promised their fans. But guess what? Nobody is standing in line to get a mega-million dollar haircut and play for the Heat. Players want to get paid. And on a closing note, as soft as Bosh plays he shouldn’t opt out of anything, because Riley might just say, “thanks but now that you’re a free agent, we don’t want you back”. Ditto for Wade – thanks for the memories, but you’re done.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:17 AM

      They say Wade is done every year, don’t they? But he isn’t done. He just had a few bad games.

      They don’t need 11 all-stars. Just some additions and tweaks, and time to stew in disappointment so the rest of the team can come back and match LBJ’s hunger.

      • marcusfitzhugh - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:44 AM

        The Heat lost by 15, 19, 21, and 17. They got swept at home. The only game they won was by two points. When a team loses 4 to 1 like “THAT”, THAT isn’t hunger, THAT isn’t a tweak, THAT isn’t an addition or two away from winning. THAT was a major league beat down. The Heat didn’t even compete. The woopin was so bad, that most people think if they started the Finals over again tomorrow, Miami might get swept. There is nothing on that Heat roster that says they have a chance against the Spurs. The team is simply overmatched, out of there league, not good enough. Miami needs Melo, CP3, Noah, Kyrie, DeMarcus Cousins, Steph Curry, Durant, and a whole lot of other cats who aren’t taking their talents to south beach for minimum wage. On top of that, LBJ may have a different uniform next year. Then what? Wade and Bosh will carry the club? Man, the buzzer has sounded – it’s over. It’s cool though, They went to the Finals 4 years in a row. Congrats. It’s a major achievement. But at the end of the day, they got beat down on national TV.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:12 AM

        They got beat down because they have been to 4 straight finals and just won 2 straight rings and didn’t have the same motivation to win like the team that just suffered through the most crushing playoff loss of their careers and were desperately longing for redemption.

        The Heat beat basically the same Spurs team last year, so they can do it again. Ginobili, or any other Spur, can still have a bad series. Pop can still make more boneheaded decisions. They were more focused this year because of the pain of the 2013 loss. Their words.

      • JHathwell - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:29 AM

        Wonderful levels of delusion here. “Basically the same team”, you say? “Wade isn’t done”, you say?

        Tell me then, what exactly qualifies as done to you? Does he have to expire on the court?

      • antistratfordian - Jun 18, 2014 at 4:27 PM

        He wasn’t “done” two games ago. Why would he be done now?

      • JHathwell - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:46 PM

        Totally. I mean, according to your precious PER, he was the same player in these finals that he was in last years.

        Same exact guy.

        Yep.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:52 PM

        Yeah, he had a bad series. It happens. Obviously that doesn’t mean he’s “done.” The guy can still ball. He just missed shots – credit San Antonio’s defense.

      • JHathwell - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:59 PM

        But he didnt have a bad series, brother. He had an 18.5 PER, same as last years Finals!!!

      • antistratfordian - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:06 PM

        No, that’s his overall playoff PER. Last year it was 18.7 and this year it was 18.5. His Finals PER this year was 11.59, last year it was 20.76.

      • gofinsgoheatfloria - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:20 AM

        The repeated pronouncements of the imminent demise of the Heat are reminiscent of the sects that periodically decide the world is about to end, congregate somewhere for the final hours, and are totally baffled when they wind up just going home. The Heat were dead after the Big 3 era started 9-8. They were dead after they lost the Finals to Dallas. They were dead before this season started because they didn’t have a big to handle Roy Hibbert. Now, they’re dead again, having stalled out (admittedly big-time), but only after wresting home court from the eventual champs. Well, maybe the doomsayers are right this time, but four years of history say not to bet the ranch on it.

        Miami – like San Antonio – can make a roster change when they see the need. The team chemistry has been no bar to letting someone go any more than it has been for San Antonio, and if LeBron stays – on the basis that rings are rings but talk is cheap – the Heat are an attractive destination as long as they are seen to be seeking to improve. And Pat Riley is good at what he does.

        There are no guarantees, but it should be an interesting summer.

  8. tuberippin - Jun 18, 2014 at 4:57 AM

    Replace Chris Bosh with Greg Monroe.

  9. cantonbound13 - Jun 18, 2014 at 5:11 AM

    “Not 2, not 3, not 4 , not 5, not 6, not 7…”
    – LeChoke
    “We will defiantly win Game 5″
    – Bosh Spice
    Hahahaha!!!!!

  10. cantonbound13 - Jun 18, 2014 at 5:40 AM

    How many all stars does LeChoke need to team up with to contend for a ring? Not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7….
    #fakelegacy

  11. reesesteel23 - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    People keep bringing up needing a center. Where are they???!!! Do centers even exist anymore??

    • phillycannon - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      They exists…..its just the organizations/coaches are scared to go to a more traditional style of basketball. They know the fans now, dont want to see a game slowed down.

      • miamatt - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:28 PM

        You think coaches are making decisions based on what fans want? WOW.

        The game has changed, plain and simple. If there were Shaqs and Robinsons, and Ewings out there, coaches/organizations being “scared to go to a more traditional style of basketball” sure wouldn’t stop them.

  12. limonadamas - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    I think it starts with convincing DWade to take a pay cut.

    Anyone can see that, barring some miraculous “treatment” over the summer, he’s merely serviceable now. He’s never been a consistent 3-point threat. That half-step he lost is huge when it comes to being able to draw fouls versus getting stopped.

    Unfortunately for Heat fans, DWade doesn’t sound interested. At least Bosh recognizes what needs to be done. LBJ deserves whatever contract he’ll sign, and more.

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