KEY POINTS

  • The Miami Heat plan to pursue Kyle Lowry this offseason
  • Sign-and-trade is the only way that they'll feasibly sign Lowry
  • NBA free agency opens on August 2nd

The NBA offseason kicked off last week as the 2021 NBA Draft saw Cade Cunningham be selected first overall by the Detroit Pistons.

Meanwhile, G League flag-bearers Jonathan Kuminga and Filipino-American Jalen Green were also selected in the top ten.

What everyone is truly interested in is free agency, but it can be confusing as many terms are thrown around.

Free agency features two types of free agents: unrestricted and restricted.

Unrestricted free agents (UFA) have the most freedom since they can join any team of their choosing, while restricted free agents (RFA) can only leave their current franchise if the team decides to match any offer that is offered to that player.

The start of free agency has already seen superstars Chris Paul and Kawhi Leonard opt out of their player options to become UFAs, while Lonzo Ball is expected to work out a four-year, $80 million contract with the Chicago Bulls as an RFA.

Then there’s the Miami Heat who are looking to field a sign-and-trade offer for the Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry.

Sign-and-trade deals are only available during free agency, and it simply means that the UFA decides to sign a contract with the team he last played for and immediately being traded to a different team.

This allows the receiving team to have more financial flexibility as they hope to sign more free agents to the team.

NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported that the Heat have decided to pick up Goran Dragic’s team option of $19.4 million for the upcoming season as a contract filler for a potential sign-and-trade deal for Lowry.

Sources indicate that the Raptors can then flip Dragic for a younger, potential-laden piece as there is a market for a veteran point guard like Dragic, which includes the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans.

Sign-and-trades are essentially one franchise helping another land the free agent of their dreams, but the team trading away their player will surely ask for a sweetener in return.

The Raptors could feasibly ask the Heat for promising forward Precious Achiuwa and some draft picks in the package to help facilitate the deal.

The Heat have first-round picks in 2022 and from 2024 to 2026, so it’s expected that the Raptors will ask for a couple of them as well.

Wojnarowski also reported that Lowry has “long been intrigued with joining Heat star Jimmy Butler and the Heat organization.