Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat drives to the basket against Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Many teams will enter the sweepstakes. Lowry is an All-Star caliber, veteran point guard who has the ability to immediately impact winning.
The Athletic recently put out an article titled “Kyle Lowry mock free-agency negotiation” where they had a few of their authors represent various teams who could look to acquire Lowry this summer.
What separates the Miami Heat from the pack when looking at potential Kyle Lowry destinations?
In the end that boiled down to four teams – the Toronto Raptors, the New York Knicks, the Dallas Mavericks, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Miami Heat. John Hollinger was the author who ended up representing the Heat.
Hollinger, who immediately branded Miami as the Miami HEAT™, went to war for the franchise. He argued as to why they would be the best fit not only for Lowry but could offer one of the better sign-and-trade packages from the Raptors’ perspective.
The negotiations went through five main stages – information gathering, where Lowry ranks on the teams’ list of priorities, a non-monetary pitch, non-sign-and-trade offers, sign-and-trade offers, and final proposals.
In each of these sections, Hollinger was able to make a great pitch for why Lowry should choose the Miami Heat. He continuously spoke about “Heat Culture” and why Lowry would elevate the team.
From Hollinger’s perspective, Kyle Lowry is listed near the top of Miami’s priority list this offseason. Despite this, he also mentioned that the team would likely be pursuing players such as Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul as well.
When asked about his pitch to Lowry, Hollinger’s response in advocacy for the Heat was simple – “RINGZZZZ™.” Adding Lowry to the core of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo would create an elite big three.
Hollinger also gave a great response when it came to sign-and-trade options. He explained why the Miami Heat would rather do a sign-and-trade, but also have the means to sign Lowry outright.
We would prefer to do a sign-and-trade because it could extend our cap space a bit, but if we have to, we can generate $24 million in cap room to directly sign Lowry. It may also make sense from Toronto’s perspective to turn this into a sign-and-trade for Kendrick Nunn, who we wouldn’t need if we get Lowry.
The conversation then moved to each teams’ final proposals. Out of all the authors, Hollinger gave one of the more convincing arguments.
He talked about why the Miami Heat would put Lowry in the best position to win a championship. In terms of money and sign-and-trade options, they are also in the best spot out of all the teams.
If the Raptors aren’t interested in a sign-and-trade, our best proposal is a pretty simple one: Two years and just south of $50 million total. We can also potentially sweeten the pot in a small potatoes way to get the Raptors to play ball with us on a smaller sign-and-trade (i.e., Okpala for Lowry) if the Raptors are interested in generating a large trade exception. We think we offer the best environment for Kyle to win another championship and offer a clear role for him as our starting point guard.
When the negotiations finished the mediator had to choose a victor. In this case, the victor would be the team that Lowry decides to sign with.
The winner of the negotiations was Hollinger and the Miami Heat. The conversation then moved forward into a potential sign-and-trade.
In the end, a deal with KZ Okpala, two seconds, and a trade exception was enough to land Lowry. This move would allow the Miami Heat to maintain some financial flexibility.
Lowry would help elevate the Miami Heat right now while still keeping options open for the future. A big three of Lowry, Butler, and Adebayo would be dangerous.