The Miami Heat have long been considered a destination for the NBA's top players for a variety of reasons, and that remains true as free agency is set to open this week. While players cannot officially sign contracts with teams until Aug. 6, negotiations are allowed to occur starting at 6 p.m. ET on Monday. One star who will be fielding plenty of offers is Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry.
Lowry has been rumored to be a target of a number of teams, including the Dallas Mavericks, Philadelphia 76ers and New Orleans Pelicans. Yet according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press, it is the Miami Heat that "have his attention and have had it for a while." The Heat have been considered a potential destination for Lowry for quite some time now as he and Jimmy Butler have a strong relationship off the court that could ultimately help bring them together as teammates on the hardwood.
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"He's one of my absolute best friends," Butler said earlier this year during an appearance on "The Artist and The Athlete" podcast. "He's the godfather of my daughter. And it's just like as competitive as it is, we're always laughing, we're always joking around. I would say something else, but then the NBA is going to look at this and be like, 'Oh my god, he's tampering.'"
Obviously, it will take more than a friendship between Lowry and Butler to help seal any potential deal between the Heat and the All-Star point guard. However, knowing that chip is available to play if necessary is something that Pat Riley and the rest of Miami's front office have to feel good about having in their back pocket.
Should a deal come to fruition, Lowry is rumored to be looking for a three-year commitment from whichever franchise he signs with. Lowry would give Miami a legitimate big three to build around once again as he, Butler and Bam Adebayo would provide the Heat with difference-makers on both ends of the floor.