The Kyle Lowry era in Charlotte officially comes to an end

Nov 24, 2023; New York, New York, USA; Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry (7) warms up before a game
Nov 24, 2023; New York, New York, USA; Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry (7) warms up before a game / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

One of the worst-kept secrets in the NBA came to fruition late Saturday night as veteran point guard Kyle Lowry and the Charlotte Hornets came to terms on a buyout agreement. Lowry never joined the Hornets after being traded from the Heat in the Terry Rozier deal.

Before agreeing to terms with Charlotte, he was still owed $10.6 million of the $29.7 million he was guaranteed for the 2023-24 season. The buyout puts Lowry onto the waiver wire - which he will almost certainly clear, as nobody is taking on his current contract for the rest of this season.

Once he does clear waivers, in the next couple of days, Lowry will become a free agent where he will be free to sign with any team (except for the seven teams over the luxury tax aprons) for the rest of the season, and as long as he is signed by March 1st he’ll be eligible to appear in any potential playoff games.

However, don’t expect much of a free agency process, as it appears that Lowry’s next deal is already lined up and he’ll be returning to his hometown of Philadelphia to join the 76ers on a one-year, $2.8 million contract.

This mutual interest has been talked about since the moment Lowry was traded to Charlotte, and the now-imminent signing has been a foregone conclusion for weeks. The fit is obvious, as Philly completely lacks secondary creation and a backup point guard behind Tyrese Maxey.

It’s also pretty clear that this move to the Sixers has been lined up for a while, as Lowry sent out a video on his social media announcing his intent to sign with Philadelphia moments after the buyout was made official, and before he had even hit the waiver wire.

The need for another ballhandler (and the fact that the Lowry signing was all but done) was compounded after the Sixers sent Patrick Beverley to Milwaukee at the trade deadline. Pat Bev is hardly a dynamic offensive player, but he was logging heavy minutes for the guard-needy Sixer this season, and Lowry will be a welcome addition in that role going forward.