Less than a year ago, the Milwaukee Bucks were trying to acquire Bogdan Bogdanovic in a sign-and-trade with the Kings after trading for Jrue Holiday in a move that would’ve given them a formidable quartet of stars. Days before the free agency moratorium period opened, the deal was reported as done but would fall apart in the coming days as Bogdanovic insisted it was the first he had heard of it, signing with Atlanta instead, and the Bucks would end up getting fined a second round pick for tampering prior to the free agency window opened.
The issue wasn’t so much that Milwaukee had discussed this deal and had a framework established, but that it was reported as a done deal, which the league doesn’t like. The good news is Milwaukee shook off that failure and built a championship team, otherwise we would remember that situation very differently today. It appears teams and the league’s newsbreakers have learned the lesson from the Bogdanovic debacle as we get ready for the start of free agency on Monday and another sign-and-trade is taking shape.
The Miami Heat picked up Goran Dragic’s $19.4 million team option on Sunday, a somewhat curious move in that it eats into their open cap space considerably if they are to chase Kyle Lowry and his reported desire to get a three-year, $90 million contract. However, it makes for a great salary filler in a sign-and-trade deal with Toronto if Lowry gets that number, with Precious Achiuwa and KZ Okpala meeting the rest of the salary requirements to get a deal done. After Dragic’s option got picked up, newsbreakers tried their best to toe the line between reporting and not getting anyone in trouble on what appears to be a done deal.
The Heat's decision to pick up the $19.4M option on Goran Dragic's deal is a possible precursor in utilizing him as part of a potential sign-and-trade with Toronto for Kyle Lowry, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 1, 2021
Miami's status as the favorite to land Kyle Lowry was only enhanced by the decision to pick up Goran Dragic's option for next season, league sources say.
A sign-and-trade with Toronto for Lowry centered around Dragic's $19.4MM deal for next season is an obvious route to a deal.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 1, 2021
The phrasing on these is pretty funny, as it’s clear the sign-and-trade is the reason Dragic got picked up but no one can report on actual talks, just on the general idea that it makes sense. Adrian Wojnarowski went a step further on Sunday night, offering a report that the Heat are “frontrunners” to land Lowry, offering the general framework of what that deal could look like while also making sure to couch it as “preparation” for when talks become legal on Monday afternoon.
Lowry has long been intrigued with joining Heat star Jimmy Butler and the Miami organization, and now Miami has maneuvered to have two key elements of a possible sign-and-trade package — guard Goran Dragic and forward Precious Achiuwa — to offer the Raptors once talks can ensue at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, sources said.
While negotiations on sign-and-trade agreements aren’t allowed to begin until free agency opens, teams are able to prepare for scenarios and those contingencies are beginning to take shape inside front offices ahead of Monday.
There’s certainly the possibility that Lowry ends up in Dallas or New Orleans, who each have cap space to sign him outright, but the way this is being reported makes it seem like the Heat are the heavy favorites to land Lowry and that this could get done very quickly on Monday evening once it becomes actually legal for conversations to happen, which of course, haven’t happened at all.
Make sure to put it in the papers that we have NOT discussed a trade yet, it could just come together in five minutes on Monday.
UPDATE: Even other teams are now moving on to other targets, but, you know, it’s just momentum.
As momentum builds toward Kyle Lowry landing with Miami when free agency officially opens Monday at 6 PM ET and its own hopes for striking a sign-and-trade deal with the Heat dimming, Dallas has shifted its focus from Lowry to other free-agent targets, league sources say
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 2, 2021