The Heat and 76ers are the reported favorites for Kyle Lowry
Kyle Lowry is the best player available at the NBA trade deadline and he reportedly wants any potential new team to acknowledge that. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Keith Pompey, Lowry wants “some indication” that any team trading for him would be willing to give him a two-year contract extension starting at around $25 million per year. Lowry is set to be a free agent this offseason, but part of the value of trading for him now is that the acquiring team would get his Bird Rights. They could therefore go over the salary cap in order to re-sign him.
As has been the case through most of the Lowry sweepstakes, the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat appear to be the frontrunners. Pompey is reporting that the Raptors would want either Tyrese Maxey or Matisse Thybulle in any trade with the 76ers, but at the moment, Philly is unwilling to surrender Thybulle. That would suggest that Maxey could be the centerpiece of a deal alongside salary filler (most likely in the form of Danny Green and Mike Scott) and draft capital.
According to SportsNet’s Michael Grange, the Heat are comfortable giving up impending restricted free agent wing Duncan Robinson to get Lowry, but the sticking point in negotiations is second-year guard Tyler Herro. The Heat have thus far been hesitant to include him in any offers and Miami, unlike Philadelphia, has the cap space to sign Lowry outright this offseason. If Herro is not in a deal, Miami still has other young players like Kendrick Nunn and Precious Achiuwa to offer. However, the protections on a 2023 first round pick they owe to the Oklahoma City Thunder prevent them from trading any future first-rounders at the moment. If the Thunder agree to remove those protections, they could deal picks in 2025 and 2027.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Raptors are discussing Lowry and veteran wing Norman Powell with multiple teams. Philadelphia is also reportedly interested in Powell and a number of other guards on the trade market. Miami’s long-term cap space gives it the flexibility to wait out the trade deadline if the right deal does not materialize. Both teams figure to make big additions in the near future, it’s just a matter of when, and who.