Kyle Lowry has reportedly signed a three-year, $85 million deal to join the Miami Heat through a sign-and-trade arrangement with the Toronto Raptors, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. In return, the Raptors will receive Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa, the team announced Friday. Miami attempted to land Lowry at the trade deadline, but couldn't come to terms on a deal with the Raptors. Now, finally, it appears they've landed their point guard.
That isn't the only big move the Heat have made since free agency began. They reportedly signed Jimmy Butler to a maximum contract extension that would pay him a total of $182 million over five years, according to Charania. Lowry and Butler are close friends, which seemingly gave the Heat the edge in a crowded field. The Pelicans, Mavericks, Knicks, 76ers and Lakers were all linked to Lowry at some point leading up to free agency, but Butler's presence and a strong financial offer helped the Heat secure the player they've coveted for months. He'll join Butler and Bam Adebayo there as Miami's newest trio of superstars.
That the Heat were able to make this deal as a sign-and-trade has been very important for the rest of their offseason up to this point. It allowed the Heat to operate above the salary, which allowed them to re-sign Duncan Robinson on a five-year, $90 million deal, according to Wojnarowski. They will also be able to use the non-taxpayer mid-level exception on another meaningful free-agent addition, provided they are able to keep the rest of the roster below the roughly $143 million hard cap.
For Toronto, Lowry's departure represents the end of an era. He wasn't as flashy as Vince Carter or as dominant as Kawhi Leonard, but Lowry is the most accomplished player in Raptors history. With him gone, the Raptors will have to retool around younger players like Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam. Dragic could serve as an effective bridge point guard for the Raptors as they attempt to figure out what comes next, while Achiuwa is exactly the sort of athletic forward that the Raptors have done well developing in recent years.
But with Lowry gone, any hopes of reviving the 2019 championship team in some form are now gone. The Raptors will look like a new team moving forward, while the Heat have firmly re-inserted themselves into the championship picture with yet another major offseason move. With Butler now expected to stay in Miami for years to come, the Heat won't be going anywhere in a competitive Eastern Conference.