NBA Trade Grades: Terry Rozier to the Miami Heat

Terry Rozier
(AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

It’s now official: For the first time in nearly three years, the Miami Heat have completed a trade for a player who was not a free agent! The Heat acquired Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier Monday morning–nearly two weeks ahead of the Feb. 8 NBA Trade Deadline–in exchange for Kyle Lowry and a protected first-round pick. Let’s hand out some good ol’ fashioned trade grades!

 

Heat acquire: Terry Rozier

Rozier fits a desperate need for the Miami Heat, who sorely needed a capable three-level scoring punch in the backcourt. The Heat rank No. 20 in the NBA in offense and No. 28 in offense over their last 10 games. While there’s more than just one problem, Rozier helps alleviate some of those struggles.

First, let’s address the financials: Rozier is on the books for $23.2 million this year, $24.9 million in 2024-25 and $26.6 million in 2025-26, the final year of his deal. Though his final year is partially guaranteed–$24.9 million is guaranteed and it will become fully guaranteed if he plays at least 70 games and makes it to the second round of the playoffs in 2023-24 or 2024-25.

As a result of flipping Lowry’s $29.7 million, the Miami Heat’s tax bill will dip roughly $15 million. It will also be rewarded a $6.5 trade exception plus opening up its $5 million taxpayer midlevel exception if it wants to use it, according to NBA cap insider Yossi Gozlan. Gozlan and NBA capologist Brian Goins of Miami Heat Beat note that the TPMLE will prorate past the deadline to sign buyout players, a new change to the recently signed CBA.

Financially, this makes all the sense in the world for the Heat if they want to avoid the vaunted second apron; plus, it opens up additional flexibility ahead of the deadline to make additional moves and take on more salary without pushing into that threshold, if it chooses to.

Now let’s discuss the on-court fit: Rozier’s having a career year with the Charlotte Hornets.

That’s come in part of his on-ball usage receiving an uptick due to LaMelo Ball missing 21 of the team’s 41 games due to injury. Nevertheless, he is averaging 23.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.1 steals, shooting 45.9 percent from the floor, 35.8 percent from deep on 7.7 triple tries per game and 84.5 percent from the free-throw line.

Terry Rozier immediately becomes one of the Heat’s top rim pressures, taking nearly half of his shots within 14 feet, including 27 percent of his field goal tries at the rim (58th percentile among guards), per Cleaning The Glass. None of the Heat’s active guards exceed a rim rate of 20 percent.

Rozier’s converting on nearly 57 percent of his rim attempts and 54 percent of his shots within 14 feet, a pedestrian mark but one that could be looked at as a decent mark for his 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame. Though the Heat lacked a presence who could consistently apply that rim pressure, let alone convert at a reasonable rate.

The 29-year-old also has an incredibly crafty in-between game, where he’s converting roughly 50.0 percent of his attempts; he has an array of in-and-out crossovers, side steps and snatch-backs to get to his spots while pulling up with good lift and confidence. Rozier is also an underrated playmaker. Not all assists are created equal, but his 30.3 assist percentage would be the highest on the Heat by over nine percentage points.

Rozier’s a good lob passer in the halfcourt and in transition….

 

He can navigate the pick-and-roll or double-drag, whether he draws two in a hedge/blitz or against a drop…

 

And he’s an amicable decision-maker when he’s able to generate paint touches through any action…

 

Rozier is one of the best pick-and-roll ball-handlers in the sport–ranking second in points per possession in pick-and-roll ballhandling (min. 150 possessions), per NBA.com’s tracking data–and is now paired with one of the league’s top roll men in Bam Adebayo.

He’ll also fit well alongside an elite movement shooter in Duncan Robinson (its best player off-ball) plus average- to above-average cutters in Caleb Martin, Haywood Highsmith and Jaime Jaquez.

I wouldn’t be too concerned about the defense since he’s an upgrade over Lowry, though addressing its point-of-attack will be one of the Heat’s top needs ahead of the deadline.

Grade: A

Hornets acquire: Kyle Lowry, 2027 first-round pick

The Hornets are 10-31 at the time of this publishing, so they are likely going to part with multiple players presumably not named LaMelo Ball, Mark Williams and Brandon Miller. Rozier was atop that list.

Lowry’s in the last year of his three-year, $85 million deal with a cap hit of $29.7 million for the 2023-24 season. Whether the Hornets keep Lowry or buy him out, that figure will be coming off the books next season, in addition to Gordon Hayward’s $31.5 million and Miles Bridges’ $7.9 million they were already going to save. Wanting at least one expiring contract makes sense.

Though the overall value they received for a player having a career year with interest around the league was … little-to-nothing?

It was no secret that the Heat was openly shopping Lowry; while he was having one of the most efficient seasons of his career (in terms of his shooting), Lowry hindered the Heat’s offense because he wasn’t willing to shoot–specifically when he shared the floor with at least two of Herro, Adebayo and Butler.

He hasn’t converted on more than three field goals since Christmas and plenty of players–namely second-year forward Nikola Jovic (over the last 10 games), Herro, Butler and Caleb Martin–initiated offense as often while posing as bigger scoring threats offensively. Quick aside: Kyle Lowry’s tenure with Miami may not be looked at as fondly as it was originally thought to be, but he still had his moments with Miami in both 2021-22 and ’22-23. Ultimately, it appeared both sides were ready to move on, which is what took forth.

The protected pick will also likely get rolled over to 2028 since Heat can’t outright trade its first-round pick in 2027 due to the Stepien rule surrounding its 2025 first-round pick (currently owned by Oklahoma City), which could still convey to 2026.

To acquire Rozier for Lowry, the Heat would’ve (likely) had to attach a first-rounder by itself to get off Lowry’s contract anyway … but the fact that the Heat didn’t have to give up any additional assets is a win for them in itself, in my view.

Grade: C

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SunManFromDogBone

Very interesting article in allucanheat. Here’s a few excerpts.

“Lowry’s absence allows Highsmith to be reintroduced to the starting lineup. If this were Lowry and Highsmith, the Heat would have two players on the court at the same time that opponents didn’t have to worry about offensively. 

Swapping in Rozier gives the Heat four scoring threats in the starting lineup, making Highsmith less of a liability on offense. It also gives the Heat four players who need the ball to varying degrees. Highsmith doesn’t need the ball, which should make for an easy fit.

Defensively, this gives the Heat three high-end defenders and two guards – Herro and Rozier – who are probably better than their reputation (but will still get picked on by stronger offensive players).

Miami Heat Depth Chart
PG: Terry Rozier / Josh Richardson
SG: Tyler Herro / Duncan Robinson
SF: Jimmy Butler / Jaime Jaquez Jr.
PF: Haywood Highsmith / Caleb Martin / Nikola Jovic
C: Bam Adebayo / Kevin Love / Thomas Bryant / Orlando Robinson”

I still think the Heat are one trade away from becoming true contenders. Either a big/physical/two-way PF or a back-up C who can defend the paint against bigger teams. Bam can’t do it alone. Following are 4 bigs who I think would be excellent back-up centers. Carter might also work well starting alongside Bam against bigger teams.

Day’ron Sharpe 6’9″/265 LBS (Brooklyn) 7.5 ppg/7.0 rpg/ 57.5 fg%/16mpg ($2.2M/2yr)
Nick Richards 7’0″ 245LBS (Charlotte) 8.7 ppg/7.6 rpg/67.5 fg%/16 mpg ($5.0M/3 yr)
Wendell Carter Jr. 6’10” 270LBS (Orlando) 10.7 ppg/6.7 rpg/50.7 fg%/43.5 3pt%/24.8 mpg ($13.1M/3yr)
Andre Drummond 6’11” 280LBS (Chicago) 7.6 ppg/8.4rpg/54.8 fg%/15.9 mpg ($3.4M/1 yr)

Last edited 1 month ago by SunManFromDogBone
Alien

My reactions to Terry/Lowry trade.
It is no secret that I was against all the proposed trade scenarios touted in the past because none of them addressed an important issue and I did not see any chance of that happening. Somehow the Hornets FO took pity on the Heat and did not ask for more, hence Pat was able to pull this off.Kudos to both FOs! A lesson for Portland’s GM, sorry for the digression.
The main concern was no #1 point below, other points following were secondary.

  1. Taking away Heat’s 3 points threat. As I had noted in a previous comment, no team in the past 20 years had won the NBA Finals without having a potent 3 points threat to support the activity in the paint. Every championship team had at least one player shooting 40% (or at least 39%) from beyond the arc and in some cases had 2 players. All the much touted previous trade scenarios had either Duncan or Herro being a sacrificial lamb without an adequate replacement. This would have significantly impacted Heat’s 3 points threat to support the activity in the paint. This Terry/Lowry trade is remarkable in that neither Duncan or Herro was sacrificed, hence the Heat kept both players with 40% effective 3 point shooting and its 3 point threat intact.
  2. The other issue though minor was the impact a trade would have had on either Herro, Bam or Butler’s efficiency. Not all trades elevate the efficiency of other players and examples abound around the league, Middleton and Damian , Myles Turner and Halliburton (Turner seems to be playing better though since the Siakam joined the Pacers), Embiid and Harden etc. However, I suspect that Rozier’s trade to the Heat may not have that negative influence on other Heat players, as numerous REPORTS have said that he is a player who gets 50% his 20 points playing off the ball. That to me is good news for Bam, Herro or Butler. Yet to see if this changes depending on how Spo intends to use him on the floor.
  3. Lowry had a very calming influence on the floor for the Heat’s offense which was always pleasing and efficient. His issue was the inconsistency on his offense. When he scored 15 points or more (which were few and in between), the Heat often won games. But at his average 9 points a game, the pressure was always put on the Heat’s bench to make up. Hence, you may have heard me say ” As the Heat’s bench goes, so does the Heat”. Fortunately the Heat’s 2nd unit often came through in most instances hence why they are above 0.5. However, lately with JJJ coming off as a starter and JRIch not doing so well, the scoring from the bench has taken a dive in the wrong direction. So going forward, with Terry coming to the Heat averaging 20 points a game, expectantly not so much pressure will be on the Heat’s bench which is one of the deepest in the league. Another good news!
  4. Maybe more importantly that this trade occured, was the blessing Mr. Arison may have granted it. It will not hurt his pocket.

So in all, this trade on paper is an excellent trade that checked all the boxes I was concerned about. However, there are issues that still need to be addressed. Heat’s abysmal transition defense, the antidote for the minigiants like AD, Jokic and Brook Lopez who have been the nemesis to Heat’s small ball scheme in the recent past,
and how well Rozier in Heat’s uniform pans out. Winning comes with a great deal of optimism and I hold onto that, that all is well and will be well.
Go Heat, Go!

Marsh

Miami Heat is so good resurrecting careers of NBA Players. I hope they look into DeMarcus Cousins, playing so well in Taiwan.

Last edited 1 month ago by Marsh
Reality Czech

May be true and good luck to him, but it is very doubtful that the Heat will go in that direction. They likely will do another trade or pick up a player in the buyout market.

SweeterSwish

Agreed… The Heat had a chance to get Cousins a few times and ultimately passed. I don’t see anything changing that.

Reality Czech

Terry is already in Miami.

ManilaHeat

How bout Lowry? 😆

Reality Czech

Elvis has left the building 😀

heat for life

i remember what brunson did to us in the playoffs last year must have averaged at least 35 well that has just stopped same with u holiday and u to dame and maxey im more excited about his defense than offense .when u have the quickness of a turtle its time to finally swim up to north carolina.take your slow ass to charlotte and continue complaining to the refs up there.

SunManFromDogBone

Let it go Heat. The dude is gone. That’s good enough. Look forward…don’t look back.

Reality Czech

I know, right? Had to get in that last dig. 🙄

Reality Czech

Here’s a trade proposal that works. Feasible?
Martin, Bryant, the Dru Smith contract, and maybe a second round pick for Olynyk.
I think Kelly O would be a good fit, and it would open up 2 roster spots. One could be filled by Cain. Another could be filled in the buyout market. And then elevate Alondes Williams to a 2-way. That guy is killing it in the G league.

Bout30man

Alondes may have earned a look.

SweeterSwish

I didn’t think the numbers would add up, but it’s only off by a $1 million. I think I would do this trade. I miss Kelly O.

Two questions…

1. Would Ainge even consider this trade? He would basically be sending out the expiring contract for a chance to sign Caleb Martin.

2. The trade is basically Olynyk vs. Martin… I know Martin is on an expiring contract and it’s good to get some sort of value, but is Kelly really better than Caleb? Would you rather have Olynyk or Martin on your way to winning the NBA Finals? I’m kind of torn between the two on that one.

SunManFromDogBone

What about Martin for Toppin (former #8 pick)? Both on expiring contracts @ $6.8M. Toppin 6’9″ Martin 6’5″. Toppin worth developing.

Reality Czech

Definitely worth exploring and possibly worth resigning.

SweeterSwish

That trade could answer a lot of questions for the Heat roster. Hmm… I’m torn again.

SweeterSwish

I think Toppin is good. His length alone is valuable.

Reality Czech

I think KO is a better fit at pf than Martin but it’d be almost a wash because Martin adds skills and athleticism that KO doesn’t possess. It’s why I threw in the second round pick idea. The numbers work, but, realistically, I don’t see Ainge doing it.

SunManFromDogBone

Ainge & Cronin can kiss my nalga.

Reality Czech

Yeah, and I actually like the Toppin deal better. He’d probably have to come off the bench initially because you don’t want to have 3 players on the floor who are iffy defensively. But if they can improve him in that area, he could become the present and future pf.

oregoner

Let’s not bury the lead here. I’ve been on HHH since the Michael Beasley years. I’ve read hundreds of fake trades. This is the first time I’ve ever seen someone on HHH propose fake trades for the same player over and over again, then it actually happened! Does this mean the Heat are getting Josh Jackson next?

@SunManFromDogBone Grade: A+++

SunManFromDogBone

Thangya vera mush.

We just need one more trade for a PF or a C to help Bam in the paint and on the boards. If that player can spread the floor even better.

I would love to see us get Isaiah Stewart from Detroit to start alongside Bam. https://www.espn.com/nba/player/_/id/4432810/isaiah-stewart

I think Obi Toppin of Indiana (former #8 pick) who is riding the bench since Pascal Siakam was brought in, has a ton of untapped potential at PF. https://www.espn.com/nba/player/_/id/4278355/obi-toppin

I also like Andre Drummond from Chicago as a back-up C. https://www.espn.com/nba/player/_/id/6585/andre-drummond

Alien

Happy for the pockets of Mr. Arison. Kyle Lowry wishing you the best, will surely miss you and those charges.

Last edited 1 month ago by Alien
oregoner

while I certainly don’t care about spending the owners money, the penalties for the ‘second apron’ seem pretty severe. The fact that the Heat upgraded the roster while getting under the second apron is nothing to sneeze at

Alien

True.

Reality Czech

I was actually never against getting Lowry, but I was extremely critical of the contract. I felt at the time that he was worth perhaps $8-10 million a year at most, and if we had signed him for that, we could’ve gotten another player in the $15+ million range that would have made us better.

Alien

Agreed.

Bout30man

Oh happy day!
It almost seems like Hornets decided to be nice to us.

Alien

Yes, of course. This was a pity trade from the Hornets.

Bout30man

I was kidding. But, you are right, Kyle did try his best to contribute. Taking charges is evidence of that. Best of luck to him.

ManilaHeat

I’m happy I’m wrong! Yey!! They did bite. The turtle is now a Terrier…with a bite!
Still thank you Lowry sad you did not fulfill your end of the bargain. Will Rozier play vs Bos? Nice one Andy (and Pat). Go Heat!!

SunManFromDogBone

AWESOME!!!
“The Miami Heat make a significant upgrade at point guard in Terry Rozier while reducing their luxury tax payment by $15.2 million. They save a total of $21.7 million between their payroll and tax penalty.

They also generate a $6.5 million trade exception.”

The Heat are also $6.3 million below the second apron, opening up the $5 million taxpayer mid-level.

It could be used to pursue buyout players. But they still can’t sign players making $12.4 million or more. They need to get below the first apron to do that ($4.2 million above).”

Reality Czech

Top notch analysis!

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