The Miami Heat have a hole at starting point guard with Kendrick Nunn set to hit free agency. While the organization holds a 2021-’22 team option on Goran Dragic that must be decided by Sunday night, he’s more of a backup point guard.
Who are some options to fill that role, what would it take to get them in Miami, and how would they fit?
Kyle Lowry, guard, unrestricted free agent
Kyle Lowry is the obvious choice for the Miami Heat this offseason. Lowry is most likely leaving the Toronto Raptors after spending nine years with the organization.
Lowry averaged 17.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 7.3 assists while shooting 43.6% from the field in 34.8 minutes per game. The 35-year-old point guard would be a perfect fit in Miami and fix many needs on the team.
However, there will be other suitors for Lowry, such as the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans. Both organizations will be able to sign Lowry outright with cap space this summer.
The Pelicans could clear up to $36 million for Lowry and it wouldn’t matter if the Heat wanted him or not. They have backup options that need to be there because there’s a legitimate possibility he ends up in New Orleans.
Ultimately, it’s up to Lowry when it comes to his free agency. Miami is most likely in a better place to contend short-term than New Orleans and Dallas, but the organization doesn’t have as much money to offer and won’t significantly overpay.
If the Heat can figure out a way to land Lowry at a reasonable price, they should absolutely go for it. There has to be a line drawn eventually and that line most likely lies above $30 million per year.
Lonzo Ball, guard, restricted free agent
Lonzo Ball would be a very nice addition to the Miami Heat and one that has many different avenues. Ball is only 23-years-old and based on what The Athletic’s John Hollinger wrote, he could earn around $22.48 million per year.
Ball averaged 14.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.7 assists while shooting 41.4% from the field in 31.8 minutes per game. The narrative of Ball not being able to shoot should also end as he shot 37.8% from downtown on 8.3 attempts per game.
He would fit nicely with Bam Adebayo, which would give the Heat’s young star a future running mate at point guard. The long-term potential makes a move for Ball intriguing, but Lowry might be the better player for the short-term future.
There are a few ways Miami can land Ball. One way is a sign-and-trade that sends Duncan Robinson to New Orleans and in return, Miami would receive Ball. Another way could be signing him with cap room if they decline the team options of Goran Dragic and Andre Iguodala.
Personally, signing Ball with cap room and pairing him with Robinson is the way to go. The Heat need both of them, not one. Watch out for Ball if the Heat lose Lowry to the Pelicans.
Spencer Dinwiddie, guard, unrestricted free agent
Spencer Dinwiddie has been rumored as a backup option for the Miami Heat if they lose out on the Lowry sweepstakes. Dinwiddie, 28, missed a majority of last season due to a partially torn ACL in his right knee with the Brooklyn Nets.
Dinwiddie only played in three games and didn’t score over 10 points once. The 28-year-old would be a risky investment and there have been rumors that he could go to Toronto or Washington.
Honestly, the Heat should stay away from Dinwiddie during this process. The offseason will be a failure if they end up with Dinwiddie at point guard and not much else happens during free agency.
The Heat could sign T.J. McConnell for just above $10-11 million per year and still have cap space to land another quality player if they decide to go into free agency with cap room. It’s much better than allocating $20 million-plus to someone coming off a major injury.
Nonetheless, Miami is still interested in acquiring his services if it misses out on Lowry. The three other names on this list are more intriguing.
Collin Sexton, guard, Cleveland Cavaliers
Collin Sexton is the only player on this list currently on a team, but he would be a nice addition to Miami’s backcourt. Sexton, 22, is set to become a restricted free agent next summer and has been shopped around by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Sexton averaged 24.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 4.4 assists while shooting 47.5% from the field in 35.3 minutes per game. It’s not normal for a 22-year-old guard averaging 24-plus points to be on the market, but money is the issue for Cleveland.
Sexton is set to have a $6.35 million cap hit next season, which the Heat could easily acquire. However, the Cavaliers reportedly want a lot for Sexton unless Kevin Love is included as a salary dump with him.
Love is under contract for two more years and is set to earn $28.94 million in 2022-23. The question Miami needs to ask is whether it’s worth taking on Love to acquire Sexton. If not, the organization should pivot to other options.
The 22-year-old guard would be a good, young addition for the Miami Heat and give them a long-term option at one of the guard positions if they signed him to an extension next summer.