Ex-Heat Favorite Finally Traded With Potential Buyout Looming: Report

Goran Dragic Heat

Getty Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic handles the ball during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

While the Miami Heat may have already made their big deadline move by sending KZ Okpala to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a future second-round pick, fireworks are going off around the league. For his part, a one-time member of the #HeatCulture crew looks to be on the move.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Raptors have agreed to send former Heat All-Star Goran Dragic and a first-round pick to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for big men Thaddeus Young and Drew Eubanks, as well as a second-round pick.

Dragic had appeared in just five games for the Raptors this season, averaging 8.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists.

In the hours before the deadline, Dragic had also been linked to the Knicks and Mavs. Per HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto the Knicks-Raptors discussions, which also involved the Lakers as a third party, included former Heat guard Kendrick Nunn, “as a potential addition.”

The Trade Could Make a Heat Reunion Possible

Reassessing the trade that sent Goran Dragic to the Heat | The Hoop CollectiveBrian Windhorst, Tim Bontemps and Tim MacMahon review the three-team trade that sent Goran Dragic to the Miami Heat in 2015. ☑️ Subscribe to ESPN+: plus.espn.com/​​​​​ 📱Get the ESPN App: espn.com/espn/apps/espn​​​​​ 🏀 Subscribe to NBA on ESPN on YouTube: bit.ly/2yxs3Og​​​​​ ☑️Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: es.pn/SUBSCRIBEtoYOUTUBE​​​​​ ☑️Watch ESPN on YouTube TV: es.pn/YouTubeTV​​2022-02-05T14:00:22Z

With Dragic working out at the Heat’s facility and also being snapped at FTX Arena during a recent game, fans in South Beach have been speculating about the 35-year-old’s potential return for weeks. However, the likelihood of a Heat homecoming seemed low.

Per league rules, Miami was forbidden from re-acquiring Dragic from Toronto, even if he had been bought out by the club. However, all bets are off with his move to San Antonio.

As reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Spurs are expected to negotiate a buyout on Dragic’s expiring $19.4 million contract. If that comes to pass, he would technically be eligible to re-sign with Miami. However, multiple teams could be vying for his services.

Woj namechecked Dallas, Milwaukee, Chicago and the LA Clippers as potential suitors.

Moreover, bringing Dragic back into the fold may not be the right move to make for Pat Riley and Co.

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Does a Dragic Reunion Even Make Sense at This Point?

Although the Heat just freed up another roster spot with the Okpala trade, adding Dragic post-buyout may not be the way to go. As it stands, the team would probably be better served by converting Caleb Martin’s two-way pact to a standard NBA contract, inking another two-way guy and then waiting for a better buyout option.

The very notion that the Dragon could come back to Miami for another title run may give fans soft, fuzzy feelings, but his spot may have already been taken by another former All-Star.

Victor Oladipo looks to be on the comeback trail for the Heat and, in addition to already being on the roster, he’s probably a more attractive option for guard depth at this juncture. At 29, Oladipo is significantly younger than Dragic, and his defensive prowess far exceeds what the old fave would bring to the table.


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