One of the greatest charge-drawers the world has ever seen is no longer with the Miami Heat. Kyle Lowry will be creating turnovers by hitting the deck somewhere else for the rest of the season. The Heat have traded him to the Charlotte Hornets, along with a 2027 protected first-round pick, and received Terry Rozier in return, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Lowry is a polarizing player among Heat fans. He was acquired in a sign-and-trade deal in November 2021. At the time, he was 35 and had missed 26 games in the COVID-shortnened 2020-21 season.
Not only has he missed a lot of games for the Heat, the reputation he had for playing below his standards during the playoffs got even worse. Lowry did, however, have his moments, especially during the Heat’s Eastern Conference Finals upset of the Boston Celtics last spring. There is a good chance the Hornets will either trade Lowry or buyout the final year of his contract. He does not make much sense on their young roster for the next three months.
The Heat signed Lowry to a three-year contract in 2021, and wrung all of the production possible out of him. The result was two trips to the Eastern Conference Finals and one NBA Finals appearance. The final year of his contract was turned into a significant offensive upgrade — an upgrade that saves the Heat money this season. Moving off of Lowry’s contract lowers their team salary by just more than $15 million. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marx, that opens up a larger exemption for Miami to take in more money on a future trade this season than it sends out.
In a league in which Fred VanVleet is making more than $40 million per year, the Heat freed up some cap space while adding a scorer and playmaking threat. Some might believe that Rozier is in one of those situations with the Hornets in which his stats are inflated because the team has no other offensive options.
Part of the reason the Hornets signed Rozier to that first extension was that he played well for the Celtics — one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. When he first teamed up alongside LaMelo Ball, the Hornets became appointment League Pass viewing. In Rozier’s second season in Charlotte, the team finished with a regular-season record above .500 for the first time in six years. That was a team on the rise until some ugly accusations against Miles Bridges put a stop to that.
Rozier is no knockout blow for the Heat. He is an undersized, shoot-first guard, whose percentages can swing wildly from game to game. He is also a player who has to be guarded at all times on the floor, which could not have been said about Lowry at any time since he has been in Miami.
The Heat are continuing the process of trying to claw their way to an NBA championship. Their latest move is trading the GOAT charge drawer for 20 points a night. A move that is saving the franchise money. The Miami front office strikes again.