24 Jan

Heat land high-scoring guard from Hornets for Kyle Lowry, first-round pick, per report

The Charlotte Hornets are going to be sellers at 2024 NBA trade deadline, and they made their first move on Tuesday. The Hornets are sending Terry Rozier to the Miami Heat in exchange for Kyle Lowry and a 2027 first-round pick, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The pick is lottery protected in 2027 and unprotected if it conveys to 2028, per Wojnarowski.

Rozier is averaging career highs in points (23.2) and assists (6.6) this year and had to carry a heavier load when LaMelo Ball missed a lengthy spell with an ankle injury. Now he’ll get a chance to form a new backcourt duo alongside Tyler Herro in Miami. Rozier has spent nine seasons in the NBA (four in Boston, five in Charlotte) and is ninth in the league in 3-pointers made since the start of the 2019-20 season.

The Heat (24-19, sixth in the East) have been in the market for a new point guard for a while. Their pursuit of Damian Lillard was unsuccessful over the offseason and Lowry’s decline has left them longing for more backcourt production. Now they’ll bring in the 29-year-old Rozier who’s quietly having his best season yet.

Rozier’s four-year, $97 million contract is set to expire in 2026, while Lowry — who is making more than $29 million this season — is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Hornets have no immediate buyout plans for him and are expected to look for a suitable trade partner for Lowry before the Feb. 8 trade deadline, according to Wojnarowski. But if Lowry is not part of another deal in the next two-plus weeks, he very well could become one of the biggest names on the buyout market.

Lowry, who turns 38 in March, is averaging 8.2 points and 28 minutes per game this season. A six-time All-Star, Lowry came off the bench for the Heat in his last two games after starting in his first 35 appearances this season.

The rebuilding Hornets (10-31, 13th in the East) are expected to be one of the most active trade deadline sellers in the NBA. Charlotte could also move veterans like Gordon Hayward, Miles Bridges, PJ Washington and Cody Martin. Hayward is averaging 14.5 points per game, but his hefty expiring contract ($31.5 million) could make him difficult to trade.

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