Lowry’s stay in Charlotte: a trade waiting to happen?

The Miami Heat’s trade of Kyle Lowry to the Charlotte Hornets appears to be shady. The Hornets, who are currently in a rebuilding phase, seem like an odd landing spot for the 37-year-old, but reports suggest that the Hornets’ intentions are unclear.

Lowry’s stay in Charlotte: a trade waiting to happen?

While Lowry’s scoring numbers are on the decline (8.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game this season), his championship pedigree and experience still have value. However, the Hornets, with a 10-31 record, are likely not the ideal environment for him to end his career.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski alluded to this when he said the Hornets have “no immediate plans” to buy out Lowry and are exploring further deals before the Feb. 8 deadline. This suggests that they see Lowry as a potential asset that could be traded for something that better fits their rebuilding plans.

However, the challenge they face is Lowry’s expiring $29.7 million contract. It could be tricky to find a team willing to take on that burden for a player in his twilight years. Additionally, the NBA’s new CBA presents another problem for teams.

The seven teams with luxury taxes above the first and second brackets are ineligible to sign players like Lowry who were waived during the regular season. That rules out potential suitors like the Golden State Warriors (who need a replacement for Chris Paul) and the Los Angeles Clippers (who already have a strong point guard rotation).

Despite these limitations, there are still several teams interested in him. The Phoenix Suns, who lack a traditional point guard, could fit in with their star trio. However, salary matching could be an obstacle. Similarly, the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets would benefit from Lowry’s experience, but acquiring him may require creative package deals.

Ultimately, Lowry’s fate remains unclear. The Hornets’ willingness to deal him before the trade deadline opens up all sorts of possibilities for a deal, but a new CBA and his hefty contract complicate the situation. Whether Lowry joins a competitive team or stays in Charlotte for the rest of the season will be a question that will keep NBA fans guessing until the trade deadline.

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