Heat are trading Kyle Lowry to the Hornets for Terry Rozier



Kyle Lowry is in the final year of his contract, spent the last couple of weeks in a slump and just last week lost his spot in the Miami Heat starting lineup.

A trade seemed inevitable — and the Charlotte Hornets helped make it a reality.

Lowry is being traded by the Heat to the Hornets for Terry Rozier — someone enjoying the best season of his career — a person with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

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The defending Eastern Conference champion Heat also are sending a first-round draft pick to the Hornets to complete the deal, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the trade was still pending league approval. The pick would be lottery-protected for 2027; otherwise, Charlotte gets the pick in 2028.

“Man, Kyle has been one of my favorite teammates, if not the favorite teammate,” Heat captain Bam Adebayo said. “He’s always talking about ways to get the ball. He always talks about giving me easy catches. He’s been positive. He’s like a brother to me and he’ll continue to be my brother.”

Heat and Hornets officials could not comment until the trade is finalized, which was expected to happen later Tuesday. Players are under no such restriction.

Rozier figures to be an immediate upgrade for the Heat. He is averaging 23.2 points and 6.6 assists — both career bests — in 30 games this season and is shooting a career-high 46% as well. The trade reunites him with former Charlotte teammate Caleb Martin, who is in his third season with the Heat and said he’s excited to play with Rozier again.

“Definitely a bittersweet situation, for sure,” Martin said.

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Lowry — a six-time All-Star and 2019 NBA champion with Toronto — had started in each of his first 35 appearances with the Heat this season, then was taken out of the starting five last week, and it didn’t take long for speculation to begin that his time with Miami was running short.

He averaged 8.2 points and 4 assists per game for the Heat this season, turns 38 in March and is on a $29.7 million expiring contract. He struggled in his final five games with Miami, shooting 5 for 30 and averaging only 2 points and 3.6 assists in that span.

“Terry’s a great player,” Heat guard Tyler Herro said. “We appreciate Kyle and everything he’s done for us, our team. Getting rid of someone who’s been a part of something like this is never easy, but I think it is time, the right time to make a move and I’m excited about it.”

The 29-year-old Rozier is making $23.2 million this season and is under contract for two more seasons. Charlotte is 10-31, well outside the playoff picture in the East.

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