The heat is expected to make some splash in the free-agent market, and the team’s latest moves could indicate their plans for the 2021 offseason.
On Sunday, Miami Andre Iguodala’s $ 15 million player option while exercising Goran Dragic’s $ 19.4 million option declined. The Iguodala move was a no-brainer. The 37-year-old is an excellent defender and a great locker room presence, but he averaged just 4.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 21.3 minutes per game last year. It’s valuable, but not at a price tag of $ 15 million.
As for Dragic, his option was chosen, but rumors suggest he could be used as a trade chip to help Miami acquire Raptor guard Kyle Lowry through a sign-and-trade deal.
NBA 2021 Free Agents: Best Available Players, Free Agency Start Date, Salary Cap
That said, Lowry isn’t the only former Raptor the Heat are interested in. The team may also look to target DeMar DeRozan in free agency, as NBA reporter Marc Stein reports.
In addition to its increasingly promising search for Kyle Lowry, Miami has been exploring avenues to also acquire Lowry’s former teammate and future free agent DeMar DeRozan, league sources say.
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DeRozan and Lowry are close friends and spent six seasons together in Toronto before DeRozan was fired as part of the trade package that Kawhi Leonard gave the Raptors. Pairing the duo with Jimmy Butler would give the Heat a strong defensive team with a bit of scoring power.
DeRozan is not a good outside shooter, but he has averaged more than 20 points per game for at least eight consecutive seasons. And over the past three years, he’s hit 50.1 percent of his shots, so he’s certainly efficient.
The only glitch with DeRozan is how he will pay for the heat. If they trade for Lowry and give him the three-year, $ 90 million deal he wants, the team will have little to no room to sign DeRozan. Maybe they could sign him using the mid-tier exception, worth around $ 10 million a year, but that would be a sizable cut from the $ 27.7 million he made last year.
Plus, if DeRozan were to receive a pay cut like that, the Compton native might prefer to return home to play for his favorite team, the Lakers. via Los Angeles Times.
DeRozan had his sights set on joining the Lakers as a free agent and returning home to play for his favorite team while growing up in Compton.
On the other hand, maybe playing with Lowry will convince him to join Miami, especially since any potential role he would have with the Heat would likely be greater than he would have with the Lakers.