NBA free agency winners and losers: Lakers defense takes hit; Heat make power moves; Bulls go all-in

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CBS Sports 04 August, 2021 - 09:18am 21 views

Did Kyle Lowry sign with the Miami Heat?

Kyle Lowry will join the Miami Heat on a three-year deal worth $90 million through a sign-and-trade arrangement with the Toronto Raptors, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. CBSSports.comNBA free agency: Kyle Lowry to Heat in sign-and-trade; Jimmy Butler, Duncan Robinson ink new deals, per report

Who did the Miami Heat sign?

Miami Heat: Kyle Lowry signs with Heat on three-year deal. It is official – Kyle Lowry is now a member of the Miami Heat. The deal had been gaining traction in recent weeks and there is now an agreement between the two parties. Both Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania reported the deal once free agency opened. All U Can HeatMiami Heat: Kyle Lowry signs with Heat on three-year deal

What time is NBA free agency?

This year's free agency period will kick off on Monday at 6 p.m. ET. Teams can begin negotiating with free agents at that time, though the reality is many of those conversations have already happened. Most contracts can't officially be signed until Friday at 12:01 p.m. ET. Sporting NewsNBA free agency tracker: Full list of signings, best available players in 2021 free agent class

Who did the Bulls get in free agency?

After executing a sign-and-trade to acquire point guard Lonzo Ball from the New Orleans Pelicans, and adding free agent Alex Caruso, the Bulls are signing DeMar DeRozan to a three-year, $85 million deal through a sign-and-trade with the San Antonio Spurs, per The Athletic's Shams Charania. CBSSports.comNBA free agency: Bulls land DeMar DeRozan via sign-and-trade with Spurs for Thaddeus Young, picks, per report

Kyle Lowry leaves lasting legacy on Toronto Raptors, fans

CBC News: The National 04 August, 2021 - 06:40am

Lowry Leaves Lasting Legacy In Toronto

CityNews 04 August, 2021 - 06:40am

Lowe: How can the Miami Heat keep doing this?

ESPN 03 August, 2021 - 07:00am

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IT'S FITTING THAT the Miami Heat's latest all-in reload involved sending out Goran Dragic in their mammoth sign-and-trade for Kyle Lowry -- the first major domino of this NBA free-agency period.

It was Miami's flipping two first-round picks to acquire Dragic (on an expiring contract) at the 2015 trade deadline that set off the first round of fearful snickering among rivals -- clucking that Pat Riley was mortgaging the team's future because that future would belong to his successor. The clucking was always laced with anxiety: Somehow, the Heat -- slick, beachy, with a friendly tax regime -- would climb out of whatever hole Riley dug.

Three years later, it appeared as if the Heat might be buried without a shovel. Chris Bosh's blood clot issues upended the promising 2015-16 Heat featuring Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Dragic. The Heat struck out on Kevin Durant in 2016 and then Gordon Hayward the next offseason, and responded by re-signing their own free agents to huge deals: Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, James Johnson, Dion Waiters.

As the calendar flipped to 2018, they all looked like cap-clogging overpays whose contracts would be hard to move. Justise Winslow, the manna-from-heaven pick that represented Miami's salvation, was injured and developing unevenly. Their quiver of first-round picks was half empty.

When I spent a week in Miami that January, those in and around the franchise were as uncertain about their path forward as I had ever seen or heard them. They were determined, hopeful, but unsure. On the Lowe Post podcast last year, Dan Le Batard, who knows Riley well, recalled strolling Heat headquarters around that time with Riley and passing walls adorned with photos of Waiters and Whiteside. "He, like, snorts in disdain," Le Batard said, "and he just blurted, 'Our so-called leaders.' And I'm like, 'Oof. This is not a good place for these people to be.'"

Two years later, they were in the Finals -- one of the greatest short-term turnarounds ever executed from an on-paper position of weakness. The Heat nailed late lottery picks (Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro) that usually yield league-average players at best; turned undrafted guys into starters and key contributors (the newly ultra-wealthy Duncan Robinson, Kendrick Nunn, Derrick Jones Jr.); and swapped one second-round hit (Josh Richardson) into the best star that was realistically available to them -- Jimmy Butler, about to sign a mega-extension that will take him into his mid-30s, sources said.

They caught some breaks, as any team does amid a successful retool. The Butler situation with the Philadelphia 76ers went haywire. Teams passed on Adebayo and Herro in favor of worse players. The Heat got off a lot of those bad contracts with minimal pain thanks to injuries and desperation in trading partners, and the Memphis Grizzlies' lust for Winslow -- with the Heat sending out James Johnson and Waiters in that deal, and somehow netting Solomon Hill, Andre Iguodala, and Jae Crowder.

Crowder was the last puzzle piece that made sense of the 2020 Heat: the small-ball power forward with enough size, toughness, and 3-point shooting to unlock Adebayo-at-center lineups that had two-way balance. The Heat in 2020 demurred on one last trade for Danilo Gallinari, wary of committing too much future cap space over too many years -- and wagering Crowder and Iguodala would perform.

The same shielding of cap space cost them Crowder, who signed a long-term deal with the Phoenix Suns after Miami's Finals run. The Heat last season never found a replacement, toggling between imperfect solutions. Makeshift lineups were either too small, with Butler at power forward and multiple below-average perimeter defenders, or lacking in shooting.

Candidates flew off the board: JaMychal Green, Jeff Green, Nicolas Batum, others.

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