As the Miami Heat pursue a meeting with free agent Kyle Lowry on Tuesday night, free agency's best point guard is huddling with his agent Andy Miller and mulling offers to return to Toronto or Houston, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Miami president Pat Riley has been pushing for a sit-down meeting with Lowry, but Lowry is taking time on Tuesday afternoon to consider his next step in the process. Lowry met with Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri and coach Dwane Casey on Tuesday afternoon in Philadelphia after meeting with Houston GM Daryl Morey and coach Kevin McHale in the early morning hours.
Lowry has long been enthusiastic about returning to the Raptors, and nothing has happened in free agency to derail that momentum, sources said.
Miami has the framework of contract extensions for LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, and are now using available salary-cap space to reshape the roster to James' approval, sources told Yahoo Sports. Once James is satisfied with the direction of Riley's roster makeover, he plans to sign a max-contract extension – or something close – and his Big Three teammates will follow his lead, sources said.
Nevertheless, the Miami stars haven't been active in recruiting Lowry, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The Heat have interest in free-agent forward Luol Deng, who is traveling in Europe and may not be available for face-to-face meetings for several days, a source told Yahoo Sports. Miami could try to arrange a sign-and-trade agreement with Cleveland to acquire Deng, but nothing has started in that process, sources said.
Securing Lowry, a cornerstone of the Raptors' revival, has been Ujiri's No. 1 priority in the offseason. Keeping Lowry promises to be a coup for a franchise that had struggled in years past to get frontline NBA players to commit long-term.
Lowry stands to become an even more popular and marketable figure in Toronto with his decision to return to the team.
In his second full season in Toronto, Lowry had a borderline All-Star season, averaging 17.9 points, 7.4 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game. He led Toronto to the playoffs for the first time in five years, losing in a seven-game series to Brooklyn.