The Miami Heat are nearing a trade to acquire G Terry Rozier from the Charlotte Hornets, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The Hornets would get back PG Kyle Lowry and draft compensation, including a first-round pick, as part of the deal, per Shams. The first-round pick is in 2027 and includes protections, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Heat part ways with Lowry, who was brought over after winning a championship with the Toronto Raptors in 2018-19. Lowry helped the Heat advance to the NBA Finals last season, when the team lost to the Denver Nuggets. Lowry is averaging 8.2 points and 4.0 assists per game in 37 contests this season. Miami had relegated Lowry to the bench and it appeared a trade may be on the horizon. The Heat enter Tuesday on a three-game losing streak to drop to 24-19 on the season. Miami will likely be fighting to stay out of the play-in tournament this season.
Woj hints in his report that the Hornets could eventually buy out the contract of Lowry, which is worth just under $30 million. Lowry can become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He is 37 years old, so this could be Lowry’s last shot at another title. Chances are he’ll seek a buyout from the Hornets and try and sign with a contending team.
Rozier, 29, has three years remaining on his contract, which runs through the 2025-26 season before he hits free agency. Rozier started his career with the Boston Celtics before being traded to the Hornets in the Kemba Walker deal. Rozier signed his contract extension in 2021. Scary Terry hasn’t sniffed the playoffs with Charlotte but should get his chance with Miami. Rozier is in the midst of his best NBA season, averaging what would be a career-high 23 points over 30 starts this season. He’s also averaging a career-high 6.6 assists per game.
This is a strong move for the Heat, who add more scoring depth with Rozier. Miami now has another legit scorer alongside Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro. Rozier also gives the team some depth. Miami had been relying heavily on rookie wing Jaime Jaquez Jr., who is sidelined with a groin injury and could continue to miss time. Expect Rozier to be inserted into the starting lineup next to Herro in the backcourt. Nikola Jovic should head back to the bench as a result of this deal.
The Heat are currently +4000 on DraftKings Sportsbook to win the NBA Championship in 2023-24. Miami has the fourth-best odds to win the Eastern Conference at +1500 after doing so last season. The Heat remain the favorite to win the Southeast Division at -260 on DKSB.