At the trade deadline in late March, Pat Riley was able to trade for Victor Oladipo, but not Kyle Lowry. Both will be free agents after the Finals end.
Could the Heat somehow enter the 2021-22 season with both of them, who combined have eight All-Star appearances to their names? The Miami Heat podcast Five on the Floor covered the possibility in a recent episode.
John Hollinger of The Athletic wrote that the Heat could execute a sign-and-trade for Lowry. Such a scenario could entail picking up the team option for Andre Iguodala and trading him with Precious Achiuwa and KZ Okpala.
Miami is my favorite landing spot for Kyle Lowry, @johnhollinger writes.— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) July 15, 2021
“A sign-and-trade of Iguodala, Okpala and Achiuwa for Lowry would extend the Heat’s cap room, and the Raptors would walk away with two young frontcourt players.”
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From there, Miami would have to hope that no team is willing to pay Oladipo more than the mid-level exception. He turned down a two-year, $45.2 million extension from the Houston Rockets in February, but suffered a season-ending injury just four games into his Heat tenure. The earliest he could be cleared for full-contact basketball is November, after the start of the season.
Although it would be complicated — sign-and-trades automatically place NBA teams against a hard cap, as Miami experienced after the Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade — the pairing of Oladipo and Lowry has great potential.
Oladipo wouldn’t have to return to his All-NBA self from the 2017-18 self; if he just emerged as an upgrade over Kendrick Nunn or Tyler Herro, Miami would be dangerous. And after passing on the opportunity to trade for Chris Paul in 2019, why should we pretend like Lowry doesn’t have at least a couple more productive seasons left in the tank?
To be sure, trading Iguodala, Achiuwa and Okpala for Lowry seems too good to be true. Achiuwa and Okpala haven’t made names for themselves in the NBA, while Iguodala may be done with his playing career now.
Would the Heat have to trade Goran Dragic instead of Iguodala? The Raptors wanted Herro for Lowry back in March. Would they ask for Herro again? What if a team offers Oladipo a big contract? Could the Heat do all this and keep Duncan Robinson? These are all tough questions, but ones Pat Riley and Andy Elisburg should be discussing.