Miami has made it noteworthy that the struggling Lowry is not available.
While subsequent reporting earlier this month suggested that the Miami Heat (28-23) brain trust would not be trying to flip Kyle Lowry at the trade deadline and break up their core of Lowry-Tyler Herro-Jimmy Butler-Bam Adebayo, other NBA teams are continuing to “call to gauge whether that remains true,” per Action Network’s Matt Moore.
“The three big ones (point guards) on the market are Fred VanVleet, Mike Conley, and Kyle Lowry,” Moore wrote. “Some recent reporting out of Miami has suggested that Lowry is not available, but teams continue to call to gauge whether that remains true as the Heat struggle to generate anything resembling a functioning playoff-level offense.”
Lowry, whose cap-hit for 2022-23 is $28.3 million with a $29.7 cap-hit for next season, the final year of his deal, has performed well below expectations this season.
The 36-year-old point guard is averaging the fewest points (12.4), assists (5.4) and rebounds (4.4) than he has in a decade-plus, shooting the ball at just a 40.0 percent clip — 51.0 percent on 2s, 33.5 percent on 3s — on his lowest volume since 2012-13, his first year in Toronto when he averaged 11.6 points on 40.1 percent shooting.
Moore notes that league sources have indicated that the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns are the “two teams most aggressive in pursuing point guards.”
He specifically cites that superstar forward Kawhi Leonard has “made it clear” to the Clippers front office that he would “welcome a point guard addition,” mentioning Lowry and Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet as a potential options.
“Kawhi Leonard has made it clear to the Clippers front office that he would welcome a point guard addition, and it’s no surprise that two of his former teammates on his championship Raptors team, Lowry and VanVleet, are on their short list of targets,” he wrote.
“There is more optimism that VanVleet will be traded, given his relative decline this season, his differential in timeline from Scottie Barnes, and his desire for a new deal with a $22 million player option for next season he’s expected to decline.”
Over his last 12 games, Lowry’s averaging just 7.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists on 36.0/25.0/84.6 shooting splits in 28.2 minutes. Lowry has been one of Miami’s top table-setters this season, but they ultimately need more from their primed point guard — in addition to a bevy of other things, such as consistently good 3-point shooting — if they want to make any sort of run in the playoffs.
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