The six-time All-Star point guard comes south after a nine-season run with the Toronto Raptors that included that franchise’s only NBA championship.
Lowry’s deal with the Heat was initially believed to be worth $90 million over the three years, but actually comes in at $85 million.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 6, 2021
Lowry’s Addition Positions Heat For Playoff Push
The addition of Lowry to this Heat squad brings a savvy, playoff-tested veteran into the fold to play alongside Jimmy Butler.
Although Miami made an unlikely run to the NBA Finals in 2020, winning their sixth Eastern Conference Championship along the way, the team fell short in their title bid after injuries to Dragić and All-Star big man Bam Adebayo.
Following the league’s shortest offseason in history, the Heat couldn’t muster much of a conference title defense and ultimately bowed out of the playoffs in a first-round sweep.
Even at age 35, Lowry played well last season.
He averaged 17.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game.
Dragić, who once spent two seasons as Lowry’s teammate with the Houston Rockets, averaged 13.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game for the Heat last season, coming primarily off the bench.
Lowry’s an immediate upgrade defensively and is a slightly better shooter than Dragić.
He provides leadership and a capable offensive hand to help alleviate some of the pressure off Butler.
Should injury issues once again befall the Brooklyn Nets, Miami can absolutely bounce with their core of like-minded, defensive stoppers.
Will The Heat Regret The Three-Year Deal?
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) August 13, 2021
The Heat are taking a calculated shot with Lowry’s three-year deal.
The team has assembled a veteran core of players around Butler and Lowry.
The Heat may have tethered themselves to an aging guard with a ton of mileage accrued already, but this front office has wiggled out from under bad contracts before.
This weighty risk includes as hefty assumption that Lowry will maintain his All-Star or near-All-Star level play for at least the next two seasons.
Miami inked Butler to a four-year contract extension as well.
The Heat’s young All-Star big man, Adebayo, signed a max contract extension too.
So the competitive window for this group is open now.
Lowry provides Heat head coach Erik Spolestra with another capable pick-and-roll partner for Adebayo.
Lowry might be a better pick-and-roll partner than Butler, considering his shooting ability.
With Lowry’s ability to be a primary ball-handler and playmaker, pressure comes off the likes of Adebayo and Butler.
That should allow both of those players to shoulder more of a scoring load.
Lowry’s health remains an integral factor to this calculated risk for Miami.
But even though he’s a 15-year veteran, Lowry did not become a full-time starter until his fifth season in the league.