What’s next for Kyle Lowry? Latest buyout and trade updates, plus landing spots after deal from Heat to Hornets

Kyle Lowry is headed to the next stop of his 18-year NBA career.

After two and a half seasons with the Heat, Lowry has been traded to the Hornets in a deal that sends Terry Rozier to Miami. Lowry has had quite the career arc, beginning in Memphis before heading to Houston and Toronto, where he became a champion and the greatest player in franchise history.

Lowry moved on to Miami in 2021, helping lead the Heat to within one win of the NBA Finals in 2022 and playing a key role in the team’s improbable run to the 2023 NBA Finals. Now, Lowry is set to turn 38 in March and is looking to compete for a championship during the final years of his career, an opportunity that the Hornets cannot afford him.

With this in mind, what’s next for Lowry? A few teams could emerge as potential landing spots for the wily veteran with championship DNA.

MORE: Which team won the Terry Rozier-Kyle Lowry trade?

Will the Hornets buy out Kyle Lowry?

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Charlotte does not have an immediate plan for a buyout for Lowry and will look to trade him before the Feb. 8 deadline.

Based on this reporting, a trade currently seems like the most likely outcome, at least concerning Lowry’s next move after Charlotte. Wherever the Hornets decide to trade Lowry could then negotiate a buyout or end up as his destination.

Kyle Lowry

(NBAE via Getty Images)

Why Suns, Bucks, Clippers can’t sign Kyle Lowry

As noted by ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Lowry would not be eligible to sign with teams over the first or second luxury tax apron if he is bought out by the Hornets.

Marks included the list of seven teams that are above the $172.3 million apron with their total team salary. The Warriors, Clippers, Celtics, Suns, Bucks, Heat and Nuggets are not allowed to sign a player waived during the regular season that had a pre-existing salary of more than $12.4 million. Lowry is making $29.7 million in the 2023-24 season.

Any of the above teams can still acquire Lowry but would have to do so via trade or by finding a way to get below the luxury tax threshold.

Landing spots for Kyle Lowry

76ers

The Sixers’ situation checks several boxes. First and foremost, Lowry hails from North Philadelphia and has represented his hometown with great pride throughout his career.

There is a pre-existing connection between Lowry and 76ers head coach Nick Nurse, who worked with Lowry for eight seasons in Toronto, first as an assistant and later as a head coach, with the two winning a championship together in 2019. Most importantly, Lowry can join a title contender in the East, allowing him to be in direct competition with the team that traded him.

After trading James Harden, Philadelphia has a rotation of lead guards that includes Tyrese Maxey, De’Anthony Melton and Patrick Beverley. There may not be room for big minutes but there could be a role for Lowry to lead second units.

Lakers

The Lakers were in on Lowry when his name was mentioned in trade talks during the 2020-21 season but ultimately missed out.

Los Angeles is an older team in search of a jolt to turn an overall mediocre season around before it’s too late. Lowry is looking for an opportunity to compete, and the Lakers need more playmaking and shooting from the guard position as Gabe Vincent’s injury woes have kept him sidelined and unable to contribute.

Lowry is shooting 38.5 percent from 3-point range this season and has been described by LeBron James as a “bulldog” in the past. Depending on how badly LA wants him, it has a path to make a move with a trade or a potential buyout signing.

Timberwolves

The Wolves are a contending team that has space to sign Lowry if he is bought out.

Minnesota has caught the league by surprise this season but has shown that it would benefit from more veteran leadership and championship DNA in the locker room on numerous occasions. Mike Conley starts at point guard and is backed up by Jordan McLaughlin, so Lowry could come in and assume some lead guard responsibilities.

Lowry is somewhat familiar with head coach Chris Finch, who was an assistant in Toronto for the first half of the 2020-21 season. It would also be a full-circle moment for Conley and Lowry, who began their careers together in Memphis. Conversely, they are two of the NBA’s oldest players and the Wolves might want to add more youth to their backcourt rotation.

Kyle Lowry and Masai Ujiri

(NBAE via Getty Images)

Raptors

Toronto is nowhere near title contention this season but would benefit greatly in the long run from Lowry’s presence as a leader in the locker room. And while Lowry left less than three seasons ago, Chris Boucher and Jakob Poeltl are the only two Raptors that Lowry shared the floor with in Toronto. The impact he could have on the next generation of Raptors in Scottie Barnes, RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley would be immeasurable.

It may seem a bit far-fetched, but Lowry could ride out in the sunset for the franchise that will one day retire his number, something very similar to Kevin Garnett spending the last days of his NBA career in a Wolves uniform next to Zach LaVine, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.

Lowry has made it clear that he plans to retire as a Raptor.

Spurs

Because of their history with Team USA, there is familiarity between Lowry and Gregg Popovich. There’s not an opportunity to win but there is a unique opportunity to play next to Victor Wembanyama.

San Antonio has a clear path to propose an offer with players like Doug McDermott and Devonte’ Graham in exchange for Lowry. The money would work and would bring Graham back to where he began his career.

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