Amid offensive struggles from starting point guard Kyle Lowry and a current three-game losing streak, the Miami Heat pulled the plug early and have acquired 29-year-old PG Terry Rozier from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Lowry and a protected 2027 first round draft pick on Tuesday.
ESPN Sources: In the Rozier deal, Miami’s first-round pick is lottery-protected in 2027 and unprotected should it convey to 2028.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 23, 2024
“The Miami Heat are on the verge of acquiring Terry Rozier from the Charlotte Hornets; Kyle Lowry and drafts picks, including a first round pick, I’m told going to the Hornets.”@ShamsCharania on Miami nearing a trade to acquire Charlotte’s Terry Rozier for a package sending… pic.twitter.com/MTjPHNlM3p
— Run It Back (@RunItBackFDTV) January 23, 2024
The news was broke and made official by both Shams and Woj. The Miami Heat also released the news on their social media accounts.
Rozier is in the midst of a career year and provides the Heat with a lot of facets to his game that this team has desperately coveted. He is a three-level scorer; he can attack the basket, shoot the midrange and knock down three’s.
He can also do all of these things with or without the ball in his hands.
This is the first trade the Miami Heat have made for a non-free agent in nearly three years, dating back to Victor Oladipo at the 2021 deadline, being among the first teams to make a move ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline on February 8.
Miami finally gets their significant upgrade at the PG position while unloading that expiring Lowry contract and reducing their luxury tax payment by $15.4 M. They also saved a total of $21.7M between their payroll and tax penalty.
Not to mention also generating a $6.4M trade exception.
Pre-trade tax: $29.4M
Post-trade tax: $13.9M
The Heat will create a $6.4M Trade Exception (they already have $9.5M, $7.2M and $4.5M TE)
2024-25 Team salary: $86.2M*
Projected salary cap: $142M
*Does not include…
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) January 23, 2024
When LaMelo Ball was out for a 20+ game stretch for Charlotte this season, Rozier proved he can be that guy as the main ball handler with stats of 25 PPG & 8 APG on 46% shooting, 40% from 3 point range & 90% FT.
He has experience playing deep into the NBA playoffs as a youngster on the Boston Celtics years ago. With Charlotte going absolutely no where anytime soon, Rozier has a real chance of getting back to playing at the highest level in South Florida.
The Heat now have four (!) guys on their roster who are currently averaging 20+ points a game.
Looking real scary out here in the 305…😳😤 https://t.co/eWfW558Ove
— Hot Hot Hoops (@hothothoops) January 23, 2024
This is a move that has the potential to really move the needle. Miami’s front office pulled this off without giving up much and may not even be done yet.
There are still names that the Heat have reportedly expressed interest in, such as DeMar DeRozan, Bruce Brown and PJ Tucker in the buyout market.
Tucker seems like the most realistic out of the three considering the Heat can bring in a proven and valuable veteran asset for little to nothing, similar to what they did last season with Kevin Love.
Miami chose to target Rozier over Dejounte Murray to fix their PG problem because it costed less.
What I can add to this: The Heat went into this season not eager to acquire sizable multiyear money in exchange for Lowry’s expiring contract. But that changed recently, because of 1) Lowry’s poor play & offensive struggles; 2) ability to get skilled scorer for modest return. https://t.co/yj0G2Ylydg
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) January 23, 2024
After striking out on Damian Lillard over the summer and going into the season with a 37-year-old Kyle Lowry, the Heat still end up making a serious upgrade just in time for another playoff run.
The thing that was holding back Pat Riley from getting his hands on Lillard was having to part with young, franchise cornerstone assets like Tyler Herro and Jaime Jaquez Jr.
Instead, the Heat front office pulled off acquiring an All-Star caliber PG but also being able to retain those assets.
It is tough to say Heat Nation is going to miss Lowry a whole lot, who simply never met up to contract expectations.
He clearly showed quick signs of declining following a long All-Star Toronto Raptors tenure.
Kyle Lowry had good moments, brought toughness with the charges and a winning mentality. Problem was he never played to even close what his contract was worth. A shame it didn’t work out but now I just hope he can find his way back to Toronto to properly finish his career https://t.co/K4oShtYAIi
— Hot Hot Hoops (@hothothoops) January 23, 2024
Thank you Lowry for the good moments and leadership, but now it is time to flourish under a new and younger offensive orchestrator in Rozier.
Rozier is expected to be available and starting for the next game tomorrow night against the Memphis Grizzlies at home.
Welcome ‘Scary Terry’ to the 305!
This is a breaking news story. Stay tuned for updates.
To check out our other content, click here.
Follow Hot Hot Hoops on Twitter/X here!
Follow Hot Hot Hoops on Instagram here!