Raptors guard Kyle Lowry opted to return to Toronto, spurning a possible opportunity to join the Heat. (Kathy Willens/Associated Press)

The first major domino has fallen in NBA free agency, and it could have major repercussions for the Miami Heat. Yahoo reported Wednesday night that Raptors guard Kyle Lowry had agreed to a four-year, $48 million contract to stay in Toronto. According to Yahoo’s Adrian Wonjarowski, Lowry can opt out of the deal after three seasons.

Around the same time as the report, Lowry posted a photo of himself in a Raptors uniform. He added this caption, referring to Raptors teammate Amir Johnson:

“This ain’t Amir jersey y’all!! Lol….. it’s for the 2014-15 season cause Toronto will be my home city.”

The deal potentially throws a wrench into the Heat’s free agency plans. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all opted out of their contracts, and while James is reportedly seeking a maximum-level contract, Wade and Bosh were said to be amenable to taking pay cuts in order to fit a fourth high-impact player onto Miami’s payroll.

Well, Gortat went off the market on Tuesday, and now Lowry is gone, as well. As it happens, the $12 million-per-year average of Lowry’s deal is reportedly the exact amount Miami has made it known it can offer someone to theoretically join James, Wade and Bosh.

If the Heat’s free agent targets keep signing with other teams, Wade and Bosh may wonder why they bothered walking away from the $40 million-plus each was set to receive if he hadn’t opted out.

And, of course, James may wonder if it’s worth coming back to the Heat at all.


Des writes for the Early Lead and the D.C. Sports Bog, scouring the Web to bring readers items of interest, both serious and amusing. He also covers fantasy football, as well as fitness topics for the MisFits.