The Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat have concluded the sign-and-trade deal that’s been reported since Monday. Kyle Lowry will sign a three-year, $85 million deal with the Raptors and then be traded to the Miami Heat in exchange for Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa.
Trade official: The Heat say they have acquired six-time All-Star guard Kyle Lowry from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Goran Dragić and Precious Achiuwa.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 6, 2021
It’s a bit anticlimactic, to be sure; after days of speculation for that to be it is a definite letdown. Alas, we can be sure the Raptors have been working the phones, and will continue to do so, until they find the next move that improves the team.
So Dragic comes to the Raptors for now, and yeah, my computer still autocorrects Dragic to Tragic, which sounds about right. I think in a perfect world the Raptors would quickly route Dragic elsewhere and get a young prospect or pick in return, but no such deal has yet to appear. Even if Dragic does stick around, he’s a fine enough successor (never replacement) to Lowry and a decent complement to Fred VanVleet and Malachi Flynn.
Precious Achiuwa, meanwhile, is the real asset here for the Raptors, a 6’8”, 225 lbs. forward whom the Heat selected with the 20th overall pick in 2019. Achiuwa played in 64 games last season, averaging five points and 3.4 points in 12 minutes a night. Perhaps most importantly, he flashed some decent defensive chops and positional versatility that should make him a great fit in Nick Nurse’s defensive schemes. (Queue up all your “Raptors gonna win games 82-78 jokes.)
What’s next for the Raptors? Summer League! Their free agency period is likely all but done.
As for Kyle Lowry, he’s going to warm-weather city where he can play golf year-round, play ball with his pal Jimmy Butler, hopefully contend for a title with the always-competitive Heat — and oh yeah, get paid too.