Goran Dragic’s name may have been mentioned by name only in a recent conversation with the Heat front office, but the veteran point guard is exactly the kind of versatile, team-oriented player the Cavaliers are desperately searching for.
Dragic is on the trade block after the Heat have had a disappointing season and the Suns are shaping up to be a serious threat in the West, with Dragic playing a major role. So, the question is, where would he go?
Goran Dragic #7 of the Miami Heat shoots against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on the 12th. March 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.
Goran Dragic is one of the Miami Heat’s most popular players, so the news that Bleacher Report is predicting the veteran defender will be the Cleveland Cavaliers’ top target this season isn’t exactly welcome news.
Dragic, when healthy, is an important part of the Heat’s roster. Last season, he averaged 13.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 0.7 steals. He shot 43.2 percent from the field, 37.3 percent from three-point range and 82.8 percent from the free throw line.
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The Slovenian star, who turned 35 earlier this year, is still a restricted free agent. He only becomes a free agent if the Heat don’t lift his $19.4 million option. If the Heat lift his option, Cleveland won’t have to pay much to get him.
Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report noted that the Cavs could offer him the full $9.5 as a mid-level exception. Even with a new deal with Jarrett Allen, Cleveland would still have enough room to contract Dragic and a few other lucrative veterans.
Cleveland still needs some veterans around the youngcore.
It’s hard to imagine the Heat without the Dragon. Not only is he friends with five-time basketball world champion Jimmy Butler, but his selfless style of play fits perfectly with the culture of the Heat.
But if Miami manages to attract a big name like Kawhi Leonard or Bradley Beal, the Heat will have to reconsider their bid to pay Dragic. And according to Swartz, he’s exactly what the Cavaliers need for a successful rebuild:
The Cleveland Cavaliers are entering their fourth year of rebuilding and should follow the example of the Atlanta Hawks and start adding veterans around their young core. A replacement point guard has been a problem for the Cavs all season, with Matthew Dellavedova missing 59 games, and they could use someone with playoff experience in Goran Dragic to guard Darius Garland and Collin Sexton. At six feet tall, he would be the tallest member of the trio.
Heat fans think if Dragic stays in Miami, he can fend off Luka Doncic in South Beach
After disparaging reports about Luka Doncic’s strained relationship with some members of the Mavericks’ front office, doubts about whether the 22-year-old will stay in Dallas in the near future plunged into the Twitter feed and fueled rumors that Dragic, his Slovenian friend, might snatch him away from Miami.
The rumors are sparked by the fact that Dragic is coaching Doncic and the Slovenian national team in their preparation for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Of course, this unrealistic scenario can only happen if Dragic stays in Miami.
One person tweeted: In the blink of an eye. Luka at the HEAT is Goran Dragic’s latest gift to Miami. Others online think Doncic’s transfer to Miami will be a longer game. Heat fans are suggesting that Pat Riley should transfer Dragic to Dallas, where he could slowly hijack Doncic from South Beach.
Although Dragic and Doncic have the same business manager, it is highly unlikely that the latter would turn down a contract extension with Dallas for $200 top.
And the chess approach is even less plausible. Time is not on Dragic’s side. At 35, if he wants to talk a future MVP into playing alongside him in Miami, that conversation needs to happen now.
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