NBA

The Miami Heat Could Lose Out on Their $85 Million All-Star During Free Agency

The Miami Heat had an impressive 2019-20 season. Miami advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2014. Going into the season, the Heat were an underrated team with a lot of talented players. The Heat had an impressive playing run as the five seed in the Eastern Conference.

Goran Dragic was one of the top players for the Heat this past season, and he played a significant role in the team’s championship run. Now Dragic is an unrestricted free agent, and his time in Miami may be ending soon.

Taking a look at Goran Dragic’s career

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Dragic’s NBA career started in 2008 with the Phoenix Suns. The San Antonio Spurs originally drafted Dragic in the second round of the 2008 NBA draft, but his draft rights were traded to the Suns. After an impressive career playing overseas, Dragic was ready to start his NBA career. In his first NBA season, he appeared in 55 games, making one start, and he averaged 4.5 points and two assists.

Dragic got off to a slow start early in his NBA career. After spending his first three years in Phoenix, he was traded to the Houston Rockets. His production started to increase in Houston, and during the 2011-12 season, he averaged 11.7 points and 5.3 assists. Dragic returned to the Suns in 2012 and became one of the Suns’ top players. During the 2013-14 season, Dragic put up impressive numbers as he averaged 20.3 points, 5.9 assists, and 3.2 rebounds. He was awarded the NBA’s Most Improved Player award, and he was named to the All-NBA Third Team.

The talented guard started to become a prominent player in the league. Dragic is a versatile guard who can play point or shooting guard. He can shoot at a high-level and has a high basketball IQ. 

Goran Dragic joining the Miami Heat in 2015

In February of 2015, Dragic was traded to the Miami Heat. He finished the 2014-15 season, averaging 16.6 points with the Heat. In July of 2015, Dragic signed a five-year deal worth $85,002,250. When Dragic joined the Heat, he became the starting guard, and in 2018 he made his first All-Star team. He was named the replacement for Kevin Love.

That season he averaged 17.3 points, 4.8 assists, and 4.1 rebounds. During the 2019-20 season, Gragic took a role coming off the bench. He appeared in 59 games during the regular season, making three starts, and he averaged 16.2 points and 5.1 assists. Dragic stepped up in a big way for the Heat during the playoffs as he helped the team advance to the finals against the LA Lakers. He missed four games in the finals due to a plantar fasciitis injury he suffered in Game 1. During the playoffs, he averaged 19.1 points, 4.4 assists, and 4.1 rebounds.

Goran Dragic keeping his options open ahead of free agency

Dragic is one of the top free agents in 2020, and teams will try to find a way to acquire the versatile guard. While Dragic expressed he’s interested in returning to Miami, he didn’t dismiss the thought of joining another team. In an interview with NBA insider Shams Charania, Dragic talked about his future.

“For me, the most important thing is that I be respected because I put a lot of hard work in my game, and I think I play hard,” Dragic said. “So, of course, I know Miami wants to bring me back. I’m hoping we can finish this championship run next season, but I know this is part of the business.”

“It’s a lot of options here and we’ll see. I’m open to all suggestions, and from there on, we’re gonna see which one is the best possibility for me and for my family. So, yeah, Miami’s up there. They were great to me and we’ll see. Hopefully, we can make a deal.” It’ll be interesting to see if Miami can find a way to keep the veteran guard or if he’ll join a new team. This free agency will certainly be an exciting one.

Stats Courtesy of Basketball Reference