Kyle Lowry entered the 2021 NBA free agency as one of the most coveted names on the market. Even though he didn't lack in options to decide where to continue his career, the Miami Heat was his landing spot via a sign-and-trade move that saw Precious Achiuwa and Goran Dragic go the other way.
The Toronto Raptors legend became an unrestricted free agent this year after nine seasons in Canada. Lowry, 35, had a number of candidates making the queue to sign him in August.
Once again, it was Pat Riley who pulled off the tricks to acquire the six-time NBA All-Star, just like he did to secure Victor Oladipo and former Milwaukee Bucks star PJ Tucker. But why did Lowry picked the Heat?
Kyle Lowry explains his decision to sign for the Miami Heat
Lowry has been previously linked with a move to South Florida in January. When he headed into the free agency, however, he seemed to be closer to other teams. But eventually, the Heat were the winners of the battle and tied him down to a $90 million, three-year contract.
Recently, Lowry opened up on what made him sign for Miami. Speaking to Portland Trail Blazers' CJ McCollum on his podcast "Pull Up with CJ McCollum", he mentioned that his ambitions didn't exactly meet with the Raptors' goals:
“This summer, I knew the direction that Toronto was heading in and what they were going to do," Lowry said, as quoted by Clutchpoints. "They aren’t trying to tank or anything, they’re just going into a situation where those guys are younger and they’re gonna let them take the reins, you know?
“And for me, it’s championship or bust," he explained, saying that he found in the Heat a place where he could chase glory. "Going to Miami, that was a situation where I felt like that’s what they want to do. I have a close friend in Jimmy Butler there. And in Miami, that’s what they want to do. If you’re not playing for championships, what are you playing for? And that’s the only thought process that went into my free agency.”
Following a surprising run to the 2020 NBA Finals in the Orlando bubble, the Heat suffered an early exit in the 2021 Playoffs when they were swept by the Bucks, who eventually claimed the ring. This season, it seems like Miami wants to bounce back and fight for the championship after so long.
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