The Miami Heat traded Kyle Lowry to the Charlotte Hornets this week in a move centered around acquiring Terry Rozier.
While that doesn’t necessarily take the Heat out of the running for the blockbuster trade they have been closely linked to in recent days, it definitely does mean there is less urgency for Pat Riley and Co. to make something happen now.
Given that Charlotte is a young developing team, they have little need for a 37-year-old who was oft-injured during his much-maligned run with Miami.
This season Lowry is averaging 8.2 points and 4.0 assists per game while shooting just 42.6 percent from the field. That said, his 38.5 percent shooting from three is his best showing since 2017.
The big question now is where Lowry goes from here. Given the fact that the Heat benched him prior to trading him, his value to other championship contenders is debatable.
Complicating matters further is that seven title contenders are banned from adding him this season.
“[Lowry] is not eligible to sign with teams over the first/second apron if he was bought out,” ESPN’s Bobby Marks wrote.
As a result, the following seven teams cannot add Lowry this season: the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat, and Denver Nuggets.
“These teams are not allowed to sign a player waived during the regular season that had a pre-existing salary of $12.4M [plus],” Marks noted.
So with that in mind, what are some realistic landing spots for Lowry? Obviously he has been linked to one prominent Western Conference team for years, but it seems far more likely right now that he will remain in the East. Specifically, the Philadelphia 76ers.
“There’s reason to believe that the Sixers would be uniquely positioned to land Lowry, though,” Bryan Toporek wrote this week. “For one, he’s a Philadelphia native who went to college at Villanova.
“Lowry should look at how Marcus Morris’ return home has helped breathe some life back into his career. Lowry also spent three years playing under Sixers head coach Nick Nurse in Toronto and won a championship their first year together.
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“Meanwhile, Daryl Morey’s Houston Rockets were the first team to give Lowry a real chance as an every-game starter, so he might feel some loyalty to Morey as well.”
It will be interesting to see where Lowry ultimately lands.
Is a return to Pennsylvania in the cards for him? Time will tell.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.