The Heat made a massive gamble in signing-and-trade for 36-year-old former All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry during the 2021 offseason. Lowry’s leadership, passing ability and defensive moxie helped Miami knock on the door of its second NBA Finals appearance in three seasons this year. But the full impact of the deal on the team’s future will now be felt in the 2022 draft, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
The league penalized Miami for tampering to sign Lowry ahead of free agency with the loss of the Heat’s 2022 second-round draft pick. Miami will not have a second-round draft pick until the 2028 season, though the team has had plenty of success in signing undrafted free agent rookies recently.
“Of course it’s disappointing to lose an asset,” said Heat vice president of basketball operations Adam Simon. “You can acquire a player on the night of the draft, and then have him under contact, versus waiting on players that don’t get drafted and then hoping that you can talk the agent into delivering them to you. So certainly having a pick, a late pick, it helps.” Winderman notes that Miami also has not had the benefit of a second-round selection in five of the last six drafts.
Across 63 contests with Miami during the regular season, Lowry averaged 13.4 PPG, 7.5 APG and 4.5 RPG. He posted shooting splits of .440/.377/.851. Injuries limited Lowry to appearing in just 10 of 18 playoff contests.
There’s more out of South Beach:
- Due to obligations with the Turkish national basketball team, Heat reserve center Omer Yurtseven will most likely not play in Summer League games for Miami, per Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. “I have to go to the national team. So if that takes me away from summer league, I might not be able to,” Yurtseven said. In his 10 games played ahead of All-Defensive Team starting center Bam Adebayo‘s return from a thumb injury, Yurtseven averaged 13.6 PPG, 13.9 RPG and 2.9 APG as a starter. By the playoff, Yurtseven had become a DNP – CD. Yurtseven, 24, is optimistic about what he was able to show with the club when he did play. “I was given an opportunity and took full advantage of it for that six-week stretch,” he said. “Then afterwards, just stayed the course, stayed professional and did my job and stayed ready.”
- Though the Heat enjoyed a relatively successful 2021/22 NBA season, they fell short of their ultimate goal: their first championship since 2013. Miami fell in seven games to the Celtics in a hotly-contested Eastern Conference Finals series. The club may look to make some significant personnel tweaks during the 2022 offseason. Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald wonders if athletic Hawks power forward John Collins could be a solid fit in the Miami frontcourt alongside star center Bam Adebayo.
- Heat reserve big man Markieff Morris lost his place in the team’s rotation following a major neck injury that kept him out for most of the 2021/22 season, his first with Miami. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel speculates on whether or not Morris may ultimately decide to return to the Heat as an unrestricted free agent this summer.