Given the nature of his contract and how poorly the Toronto Raptors have fared this season, it certainly was a big surprise not to see Kyle Lowry getting traded before the deadline.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers were reportedly quite interested in his services, but the Miami Heat were believed to be leading the race to acquire him. At the end of the day, however, Pat Riley refused to meet the Raptors’ asking price and got Victor Oladipo instead.
Apparently, Jimmy Butler wanted the team to get Lowry at all cost, but he was also satisfied with getting Oladipo, according to Farbod Esnaashari of Bleacher Report:
“A source in Butler’s camp said that his main target was Kyle Lowry during the trade deadline, but Butler is open and excited to see what he and Oladipo can do together. While Lowry was heavily linked to the Heat and preferred to be traded there, sources say that he never explicitly said “Miami or bust,” and a deal would have been completed if there was that explicitness. Lowry had no issues staying in Toronto or playing in Philadelphia,” Esnaashari said.
Masai Ujiri and the Raptors were reportedly asking way too much for Lowry’s expiring deal. The Heat showed reluctance to part ways with Tyler Herro multiple times in the past. Also, Lowry is reportedly looking to sign a two-year, $50 million contract in free agency, a number the Heat is willing to meet in the summer without giving any assests:
“The Raptors reportedly wanted Tyler Herro, or the Heat’s young core without Herro, but that was a gamble Miami couldn’t take without knowing Lowry’s full desire to play there. Lowry reportedly wants a two-year, $50 million contract in free agency, and a source in the Heat organization told Bleacher Report that the Heat believe they can acquire him in free agency. Another source had mentioned Lowry’s actual asking price was higher than the reported $50 million contract, and closer to $30 million a year. They did also agree that Miami had a great chance of signing Lowry in the offseason,” the report concluded.
Whether Lowry will end up at South Beach or not is yet to be seen. What is obvious is that multiple teams will be wary of paying that much for a soon-to-be 35-year-old player.