Reports have surfaced that the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry share a mutual interest.
Though we might hear that about every free agent this summer, Lowry is someone we should keep our eyes on for a few reasons.
1. Lowry just came off his most successful season in the NBA. He started in all 79 games he played in 2013-14 and along with DeMar Derozan he led the Raptors to an Atlantic Division title and the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference. A fringe All-star, Lowry set career highs in both FG% as well as 3pt FG% and scored the most points he had ever scored in a season. The Heat would be fools to not consider adding Lowry to the fold as they try to reach a 5th straight NBA Finals and recapture the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
2. Dwyane Wade is declining (I know, I'm sorry) rapidly. We saw in the Finals that he cannot carry the same workload, or be expected to produce at the same rate that he has in the past. When LeBron James sits for rest it is usually up to Wade to run the offense, being the predominant scorer and playmaker. If Lowry were to be added to the team there would be a little weight off Dwyane's shoulders as he now would have a great PG to run the offense while he gets into a rhythm and tried to find his shot. Lowry would serve as yet another floor general for the Heat.
3. Mario Chalmers is an unrestricted free agent, and after that Finals series he might have lost himself a few million dollars per year in his next contract. He might have even done enough damage to turn the Heat away from his services. With Norris Cole left as the only true point guard on the team the Heat would need depth as to not overextend the talents of LeBron. Norris would still come off the bench if the Heat added Lowry, but the addition would be an obvious upgrade in talent, if the Heat chose to not pursue Chalmers.
There are also some drawbacks that the Heat should consider if they truly want to explore the possibility of signing Lowry.
1. He does not come cheap. Again, skilled point guard with shot making ability that just came off his best year. That's going to be a little expensive; maybe too expensive for the Heat to afford. A lot of what the Heat are capable of doing this summer relies on the decision made jointly by James, Wade and Bosh. There are also upgrades at other positions that the Heat need to prioritize carefully. If Lowry does not come at the right price the Heat might make a run at guards with less experience who might come cheaper, or use their relationship with Chalmers to retain him for another few seasons.
2. Lowry - as a point guard - is a naturally ball dominant player. The Heat already have 3 or 4 of those types of players. Bad news for them is the game is only played with one ball. Coach Spoelstra has always been good at managing egos around the team, and has never had problems with the stars of the team butting heads with each other. Lowry would have to learn the selfless system that the Heat employ including making the extra pass and avoiding the overuse of "hero ball."
Overall I think Lowry would be a major upgrade at the starting point guard position. He is experienced, having been in the league since the 2006-07 season. He has played on three different teams so he has no real connection to the city of Toronto. The Raptors, coming off a division title, do not have any impressive draft picks so all of their improvement would be coming through free agency, and with Toronto not being a very attractive NBA city it is hard to see them getting better. Miami gives Kyle Lowry the best chance of winning a championship.
What do you think? Lowry has been linked to the Heat before but would his addition make sense for a rebuilding franchise?