Kyle Lowry joins Miami Heat
Rumors had been running rampant for a while now that Kyle Lowry had likely played his last game with the Toronto Raptors. The 35-year-old had spent the last nine seasons in Toronto but knew it was time for a change as the club prepares to rebuild for the future. He had been linked with several clubs, including the 76ers as he was born and raised in Philadelphia.
However, despite the woes, the 76ers have endured with Ben Simmons, they were unable to complete a move for Lowry. According to the Associated Press, Lowry signed a three-year deal with the Miami Heat worth an estimated $90 million in a sign-and-trade with the Raptors. In return, Toronto will receive veteran point guard Goran Dragic and power forward Precious Achiuwa.
Deals cannot be made official until Friday at noon though and the Raptors have stated they will not comment on the move until then. Yet Lowry was in no mood to wait, with free agency kicking off on Monday evening. Less than 45 minutes after the free agency had officially begun, Lowry took to social media to post that he would be heading to Miami.
Lowry is considered by many to be the greatest Raptor player of all time, after helping to lead the club to their first-ever NBA championship in 2019. While Kawhi Leonard was named NBA Finals MVP that season, the superstar only played in Toronto for one season after deciding to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Heat are getting a six-time All-Star in Lowry and an experienced veteran who has been through it all. 2021 was the first time in seven seasons that he was not named to the All-Star team, but Miami still believe he has plenty left to offer.
Along with his 2019 NBA title, Lowry was also a member of the 2016 United States Olympics squad that won gold in Rio, Brazil. He averaged five points and 3.3 rebounds throughout the Olympics, putting up nine points against a tough Spain side in the semi-final.
Lowry was drafted in the first round, 24th overall, in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. In February 2009, he was traded to the Houston Rockets before eventually being traded to Toronto in July 2012. The Raptors traded Gary Forbes and a future first-round pick to acquire Lowry’s services, a move that would ultimately shape the future of the franchise.
The 35-year-old will join up with former U.S. Olympics teammate and perennial All-Star Jimmy Butler in Miami, with who he has been eager to play for quite a while. Butler just inked a new five-year deal worth $182 million to stay in Miami, which could have provided the Heat with the edge to sign Lowry over the competition.
While the 76ers will now have to look elsewhere as they attempt to bolster their roster ahead of next season, they still have plenty of time to do so. The Eastern Conference is definitely looking more competitive this season though and the 76ers can no longer afford to just sit tight and not make any moves.