The Miami Heat are in the midst of a major cap purge, trading away a bevy of their veteran players in exchange for two young stars in a move both teams hope will pay dividends in the future.

Pat Riley has decided to drop a bunch of change on a bunch of players in an attempt to save the Miami Heat. This was a very risky move for a variety of reasons that should be obvious. Miami is a very expensive team to acquire talent, and I think it’s safe to say that Pat Riley was banking on being able to flip those new players one day for a larger haul. That’s not to say that Pat Riley is not a genius, but he does have a history of overpaying for young talent.

Last night, the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics announced that they will swap a slew of draft picks in exchange for the rights to guard Kyle Lowry and forward Jimmy Butler. The deal would put the Heat in the hands of a pair of All Stars, who will form the core of a new championship dynasty in South Beach.

While leading the Miami Heat’s basketball team, Pat Riley has built three NBA champions. Riley, on the other hand, is said to be taking a risk to bring the Heat back into championship contention in 2021–22. For three years, Jimmy Butler will be paired with Kyle Lowry, who is severely aging. There are grounds to think it will be successful. Miami, on the other hand, is running out of time.

Riley is hoping for a long-term commitment from Butler, who was acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers in a complicated four-team sign-and-trade deal in 2019. According to reports, Lowry has agreed to a three-year contract with the Toronto Raptors as part of a sign-and-trade deal.

In the NBA, winning requires a lot of experience. Is Riley, on the other hand, teetering on the edge between experience and just old?

A max extension for Jimmy Butler is in the works.

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Heat are close to agreeing to a max contract with Jimmy Butler, which would keep him in South Beach through the 2026–27 season. Butler will be eligible for a contract extension on Aug. 6.

Butler’s maximum deal would give him another four years and $184 million on top of the four-year, $140.7 million contract he signed in 2019. Butler would activate his $37.7 million option for 2022–23 as part of a contract extension. The contract will be extended for the next season.

Butler had a strong playoffs performance in 2020, averaging 22.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 2.0 steals. He took Miami all the way to the NBA Finals.

Butler, on the other hand, had a difficult season in 2020–21. He missed ten games due to health and safety regulations, as well as time off due to numerous ankle sprains, a couple of sicknesses, knee inflammation, and a stiff back. Butler was selected to the All-NBA Third Team, but was passed over for the second time in three years for an All-Star selection.

Butler was terrible when the Milwaukee Bucks were thrashing the Miami Heat in the first round. In the four-game sweep, he scored 14.5 points per game, almost eight less than his regular-season average, and shot a dismal 29.7%.

Riley is taking a risk by extending Butler’s contract until he reaches the age of 37.

Given his age and injury history, Kyle Lowry poses a major threat.

Meanwhile, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, Kyle Lowry has agreed to a three-year, $90 million contract with the Miami Heat. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the sign-and-trade portion of the deal would cost Miami veteran point guard Goran Dragi and promising rookie big man Precious Achiuwa.

Last season, Lowry’s scoring decreased, but he also saw a decrease in playing time. In 34.8 minutes per game, he averaged 17.2 points, 7.3 assists, and 5.4 rebounds while missing 26 games. Lowry also had his greatest shooting season since 2016–17, hitting 43.6 percent overall, 39.6 percent from three-point range, and a career-high 87.5 percent from the line.

Lowry’s three-year contract extends through the end of his 37th season. And he hasn’t exactly been Mr. Longevity lately. He missed 26 games last season after missing 14 and 17 the two prior seasons. Lowry, on the other hand, adds championship credibility to the Heat with to his 2019 ring with the Toronto Raptors. He also rebounds effectively for a guard, despite his small stature.

Lowry is also skilled at forcing turnovers; his 20 charges taken last season ranked fourth in the NBA. In 2019-20, he was the NBA’s leading charger with 34.

Behind Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry, a significant move has been made.

Close friends Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry are joining forces with the Miami Heat

Close friends Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry are joining forces with the Miami Heat On February 24, 2021, Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler (L) and Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry (7) embrace before a game at American Airlines Arena. Next season, the close buddies will team up in Miami. | Getty Images/Michael Reaves

The Miami Heat kept one of its best shooters in addition to getting Kyle Lowry and pleasing Jimmy Butler. Duncan Robinson earned the largest undrafted player contract in history, a five-year, $90 million jackpot.

Shooters, on the other hand, are compensated in the NBA. Robinson knows how to do it. Last season, he shot 40.8 percent from outside the arc on 8.5 tries a game, down from 40.8 percent in 2019–20. He exploded into the spotlight in his second season, shooting 44.6 percent on 8.3 3-point attempts per game.

He became the quickest player in NBA history to hit 500 3-pointers in his career last season, doing so in just his 152nd game. That was a 35-game improvement over Luka Doni’s previous best.

It may be painful to lose Achiuwa. Last season, he had back-of-the-rotation minutes, averaging 5.0 points and 3.4 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game. At this moment, his offensive game revolves solely on the rim, and he’s a terrible free throw shooter. However, Achiuwa’s block of Kevin Durant in Nigeria’s exhibition win against Team USA in July made headlines.

Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry are good buddies. That’s all well and good, but the NBA isn’t a social organization. Pat Riley is splurging on two players who have a shorter career ahead of them than they have in the rearview mirror.

Basketball Reference and NBA.com/stats provided the statistics.

Jimmy Butler and a Former Miami Teammate Got ‘Heated’ During Practice and Spewed ‘Borderline Uncomfortable’ Trash Talk RELATED: Jimmy Butler and a Former Miami Teammate Got ‘Heated’ During Practice and Spewed ‘Borderline Uncomfortable’ Trash Talk

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