After the debacle in the 2014 NBA Finals where they were completely dismantled by the San Antonio Spurs in just five games, the Miami Heat are looking to reload for the 2014-2015 season to get back to championship form and this early they are reportedly targeting a big-name free agent in Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors.
In a video for ESPN.COM, Brian Windhorst reported that Lowry and the Heat have “mutual interest.”
Lowry is an unrestricted free agent and will officially be part of the FA pool by July 1. The operative word in this potential deal is “unrestricted” for the Heat; which means the Raptors have no choice and let go of Lowry should he decide to transfer to Miami or any other NBA team.
The 28-year-old point guard was paid $6.21M by the Raptors in his final year of the deal, a five-year contract he originally signed with the Houston Rockets back in 2009. He was traded to Toronto in 2012.
Signing Lowry could be the back-up plan for Miami, who will reportedly target New York Knicks star forward Carmelo Anthony if the latter decides to become a free agent his offseason.
The Lowry fallback could be a better option for the Heat too as Melo will probably demand a max or near-max salary and the big three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will have to take a major pay cut if they want to accommodate a fourth star.
James, Wade and Bosh each have a “player option” worth $20M-plus for the 2014-2015 season. The NBA salary cap is expected to hover around the $63M mark for new year and that means GM Pat Riley will have his hands full in trying to reload the Heat back to contention. Other key Miami players to hit free agency are Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier.
Toronto has the option to try to woo Lowry back in Canada as general manager Masai Ujiri declared that re-signing Lowry will be one of his priorities in this offseason. Other free agents-to-be for the Raptors are forward Patrick Patterson and Greivis Vasquez.