Aware of those parameters, the Heat last Sunday picked up the 2021-22 $19.4 million team option on the contract of veteran guard Goran Dragic, with that contract along with the contract of neophyte center Precious Achiuwa utilized as matching salaries for the Lowry acquisition. The advance work on the Lowry possibility at the NBA trading deadline was in marked contrast to the sign-and-trade agreement between the Bulls and Pelicans for Ball, with no trade consideration in that case at the trading deadline.
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Aaron Rose: Almost makes you think Precious Achiuwa is coming to the Raptors in a sign-and-trade for Kyle Lowry pic.twitter.com/tQ0N3MJCxw
But Achiuwa, who impressed in his rookie season in Florida, is grateful for his time with the Heat, telling ESPN that he could not have landed in a better place for his rookie season. Achiuwa, who averaged five points and 3.4 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game last season, said: “I think it was a great place that I got drafted by. “Not just that I was able to play, I was able to learn a lot, to learn accountability from the first day.
“They told me from the first day that this opportunity requires accountability. I had to be accountable for what I did out there and I was able to show what I could do that while also learning how to play the NBA game. “And I had great vets with me on the team. Guys like Andre Iguodala who also has Nigerian descent, and a lot of others that I listened to all year and I was able to pick up a lot of things and learn and add to my game.”
Dragic appears likely to head to Toronto in such an agreement, which sources around the league expect to include Precious Achiuwa. There is a belief among rival executives that both Dragic and Achiuwa could be rerouted elsewhere in subsequent trades. And while the Heat still seem focused on finding a path to bring on DeMar DeRozan as well, that does not sound like a requirement for Lowry to join Miami.
Barry Jackson: ESPN reports tonight that New Orleans and Dallas – two Lowry suitors – have begun to look elsewhere for point guards. The Dragic/Achiuwa package should get this done for Lowry barring any late issues; Achiuwa hasn’t yet been informed because talks can’t begin until 6 p.m. Monday.
The Miami Heat are positioning themselves to become front-runners to land Kyle Lowry in a sign-and-trade agreement once discussions are permitted to begin with the opening of NBA free agency on Monday, sources told ESPN. Lowry has long been intrigued with joining Heat star Jimmy Butler and the Miami organization, and now Miami has maneuvered to have two key elements of a possible sign-and-trade package — guard Goran Dragic and forward Precious Achiuwa — to offer the Raptors once talks can ensue at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, sources said.
And the front office must navigate the difficult challenge of trying to augment the roster without disrupting the momentum the Heat has achieved in winning 10 of its past 11. There is still the desire to make an upgrade if one materializes, but the recent strong play allows the Heat to be more selective. And there’s no indication that Miami wants to give up a top young player for a non-All Star rental.
The Victor Oladipo issue: It’s no secret that Oladipo has strong interest in the Heat, either via a trade or in free agency this summer. The question is whether Miami would have interest if Houston makes him available before the trade deadline. It’s unlikely the Heat would give up a key young piece for him.
The consensus of TrueHoop sources is that the eight games between the All-Star break and the trade deadline will mean a lot in assessing how good the Heat are,” Haberstroh wrote. “They play the Magic twice, Bulls, Cavs, Grizzlies, Pacers twice, and Suns. If the Heat decide to make a deal, rival executives wonder if a package centered on Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and Rising Star rookie Precious Achiuwa could net another star. Heat brass have shrewdly signed Kelly Olynyk and Meyers Leonard to mid-tier contracts ($12.6 and $9.4 million respectively). Those are big enough that the Heat can likely satisfy the league’s salary-matching rules should they bring in a high-salaried star. John Wall and Kyle Lowry are potential targets.
A source briefed on Heat discussions with Houston said Miami wasn’t willing to give up Herro and Robinson and Achiuwa all together. That, combined with Miami’s lack of draft assets in the next three years, torpedoed those talks.
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September 27, 2021 | 10:23 am EDT Update
Kristian Winfield: Kevin Durant says he’s not concerned about Kyrie Irving’s vaccination status. “We trust in Kyrie and I expect us to have our whole team at some point.”
Ben Rohrbach: Kevin Durant on Kyrie Irving’s availability: “I expect it not to be [an issue]. That’s on Kyrie and that’s his personal decision. … We trust in Kyrie. I expect us to have our whole team at some point.”
Ian Begley: Kyrie Irving will not be at Media Day in Brooklyn today, sources confirm. NYC mandate states that all Knicks/Nets need to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to practice/play home games in NYC. Nets training camp is in San Diego. Irving may talk to media via Zoom. ESPN first reported.
Brian Lewis: According to NY rules, Kyrie Irving can’t play or practice at home until he gets a vaccination shot. Kevin Durant: “We trust in Kyrie and I expect us to have our whole team at some point.” #Nets #NBA
Brian Lewis: KD on whether inking long-term will help convince Kyrie Irving and James Harden to do the same: “We all three talked about playing here for a long time but their situations will happen on their time and we all respect that.” #Nets #NBA
Alex Schiffer: Kevin Durant said he trusted LaMarcus Aldridge’s judgement when he found out LA wanted to come back. Didn’t try and talk him out of it like Marks did. Said he knew LA was 49 points from 20K and was bummed he wouldn’t be able to get it. Now is pumped to be able to see him hit it.