The Miami Heat made two moves Sunday (Aug. 1), and one of them might be leading to a shape-shifting sign-and-trade.
The Heat picked up its $19.4 million team option on veteran point guard Goran Dragic, as relayed by Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald, and almost simultaneously declined veteran forward Andre Iguodala's $15 million team option to send him into free agency.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski broke down the possible implications of both moves:
The Heat are declining the $15M team option on F Andre Iguodala’s contract for next season, making him a free agent, source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 1, 2021
As the Miami Heat create salary cap space, Toronto free agent guard Kyle Lowry remains a firm target in free agency, sources tell ESPN. Miami has more levers to pull to create space to sign Lowry outright -- or can still endeavor to work a sign-and-trade with the Raptors.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 1, 2021
A Dragic sign-and-trade would need to include assets -- such as draft picks and/or young players -- to incentivize Raptors' involvement. TOR could decide to keep Dragic, or work a buyout, save money and allow him to play elsewhere. Free agency starts Monday at 6, it's all fluid.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 1, 2021
Kyle Lowry has become an all-time player for the Toronto Raptors—helping bring the franchise its first NBA championship alongside Kawhi Leonard in 2019—since the Houston Rockets traded him to the North in July 2012.
Rumors swirled ahead of last season's March 25 trade deadline, including one disputed report that Lowry wanted to go to Philadelphia, that he was a lock to be dealt from the struggling Raptors, but the 35-year-old point guard remained in Toronto.
The six-time All-Star finished his 2020-21 campaign averaging 17.2 points, 7.3 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 46 starts.
As for Dragic, a three-team trade sent him from Phoenix to Miami in February 2015. The 35-year-old was especially crucial the Heat's run to the 2020 NBA Finals. In Game 1 of that series, however, Dragic suffered a torn plantar fascia that ended his season prematurely. The Los Angeles Lakers prevailed 4-2.
Dragic appeared in 50 games (11 starts) for the Heat in the 2020-21 regular season and averaged 13.4 points, 4.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds. Miami's season ended in a 4-0 first-round sweep to the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks.