2. Kyle Lowry
The Miami Heat have a difficult decision to make on what to do with Lowry. He is set to earn $29.7 million in the final year of his contract. If the Heat cannot trade him for Damian Lillard or another star, do they waive and stretch his salary to limit their tax bill? Does Miami trade him at the deadline or just buy him out in February?
If they acquire Lillard, Lowry would be reduced to the bench and a 20-minute per-game role. Does he want that? The six-foot guard could accept a buyout to try to get more run elsewhere, especially if the Suns have a glaring need.
The 36-year-old is no longer an All-Star, but he was still productive last season as he averaged 11.2 points, 5.1 assists. 4.1 rebounds, and 1.0 steal in 31.2 minutes per game. Lowry is declining, but he still played 26.0 minutes each night in the playoffs as the Heat reached the NBA Finals in 2023.
If Lowry hits the open market, the Phoenix Suns could land a veteran point guard that can help their new “Big 3” thrive. A starting five of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, Deandre Ayton, and Lowry may be the best on paper group in the NBA, but there is no guarantee he leaves Miami this season. The Suns starting point guard in the playoffs could be on their current roster.