According to a report by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Miami Heat are looking to get off of Kyle Lowry's $30 million expiring contract. At the moment, they have yet to find any takers, but the San Antonio Spurs may be interested in acquiring him. Why would a rebuilding team look to trade for a 37-year-old point guard? Although the Spurs have a young and talented roster, including number one overall pick Victor Wembanyama, they are very thin at point guard, with only Tre Jones, Devonte Graham, and Blake Wesley at the position.
Jones is a solid playmaker (and defensive player) but isn't nearly as effective when playing off the ball due to a lack of 3-point shooting. Wesley is a better shooter, but not much else since he is still very raw. Meanwhile, Graham can shoot and pass but is not enough of a playmaker to get their new franchise player the ball consistently. Lowry could, however, in addition to being able to knock down threes and defend, but what would it take for the Spurs to acquire him? Let's take a look at a potential trade.
While Lowry would fit well with the Spurs, the decision to trade for him might appear questionable at first glance, considering that the Heat will stretch and waive him if they don't find any takers. The problem is that Lowry may not choose the Spurs as a free agent, forcing the Spurs to trade for him if they want to land him.
The Heat are motivated to find a taker too, since by stretching and waiving him, they'd turn a $30 million expiring contract into $9.8 million in dead salary for each of the next three seasons. That would hurt them in the long run, but they are likely trying to clear enough salary to be able to use their mid-level exception.
That leads to the trade offer of McDermott and Birch for Lowry and Oladipo. In that proposal, the Spurs would get their man, Lowry, while also taking back Oladipo, who is likely to miss most of next season. The Spurs could simply waive him, or they could stretch and waive him if they were trying to use more than their remaining $19 million in cap space to sign a player such as Jakob Poeltl or Grant Williams. Speaking of cap space, this trade would make it much easier for San Antonio to reach the salary cap floor, which is about $120 million.
The move would also preserve a roster spot by swapping out McDermott for Lowry while also clearing out more playing time on the perimeter for players such as Malaki Branham. For the Heat, they would get two expiring contracts, including McDermott, whom they could either keep and play or flip for another player and a couple of second-rounders.
They could also keep Birch, who could provide cheap center depth, or they may instead include him in another trade or even just waive him. Either way, the deal could save the Heat at least $18.2 million this season, roughly the same as stretching and waiving Lowry, while also avoiding adding $9.8 million in dead salary for each of the next two seasons.
Ultimately, this hypothetical trade could help both teams, with the Spurs getting a good backup point guard, assuming they re-sign and start Jones. As for the Heat, they would save nearly $20 million while adding a possible rotation player. With the start of free agency just days away, both teams may be motivated to get a deal done.