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Grading Heat-Hornets deal centered around Terry Rozier, Kyle Lowry

Miami adds another scorer while Charlotte sheds long-term salary.

Charlotte Hornets v Minnesota Timberwolves
Terry Rozier of the Charlotte Hornets dribbles the ball during the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on January 22, 2024 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

The Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets have agreed on a trade which sends Terry Rozier to South Beach in exchange for Kyle Lowry and a 2027 first-round pick, according to multiple media reports. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the first-round pick has lottery protections in 2027 and is unprotected in 2028 should it not convey in 2027.

Let’s break down the deal and see how each team did.

Heat: B

Let’s be clear that Miami is making an upgrade here. Rozier can fit into the starting lineup alongside Tyler Herro, and take pressure off Herro and Jimmy Butler when it comes to scoring. The guard is averaging 23.2 points per game this season on 45.9% shooting, so the offensive upgrade is obvious. Rozier’s defense hasn’t quite been there since his move to Charlotte, although playing with better defenders should help him out. Lowry had clearly slipped as a guard across the board, and was coming off the bench for the Heat.

The reason Miami doesn’t get a higher grade is because this doesn’t seem like the trajectory-altering move the Heat usually try to make. Does Rozier move the needle for them when it comes to a championship? Even though the Heat didn’t give up much for a decent upgrade, I don’t think this is a move they were excited about making.

Hornets: C+

There’s talk of Charlotte buying out Lowry so he can join a contender and chase a ring. Getting rid of Rozier’s salary is fine, but the guard was only really under contract for one more season before his team option. Picking up a future first-round pick is never bad, but the Hornets need to start building some sort of foundation for a contending team. This franchise hasn’t made the postseason since 2015-16, and that streak is unlikely to be snapped this season. Cap space doesn’t really help Charlotte in its current state, so it’s hard to justify giving a higher grade to what is effectively a salary dump for a distant draft asset.