Miami Heat Retains Fan Favorite [For Now], Releases Veteran Forward

Goran Dragic, Andre Iguodala

Getty Miami Heat makes their final decision on picking or releasing the team options for Goran Dragic (L) and Andre Iguodala.

The Miami Heat made their final decision on whether or not they’d pick up the team options from two of the veteran players just hours before the deadline on August 1.

While the Heat picked up fan favorite Goran Dragic’s $19.4 million 2021-22 team option, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that Miami bypassed the option with Andre Iguodala, 37.

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By retaining Dragic, 35, the Heat will now operate as a team above the 2021-22 salary cap when NBA free agency kicks off at 6 p.m. ET on August 2. However, just because Miami picked up his team option does not mean Dragic will remain in South Beach next season.

Iguodala, who’s now officially a free agent, is expected to field offers from the Los Angeles Lakers and his former team, the Golden State Warriors, per Associated Press reporter Tim Reynolds.

Miami Is Expected to Use Dragic’s Team Option for a Sign-and-Trade for Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry miami heat

GettyKyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors celebrates after scoring a three point basket against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half at Staples Center on May 2, 2021.

Numerous analysts around the league agree that indicators point to the Heat picking up Dragic’s team option in order to pull off a sign-and-trade for the much-hyped acquisition of Toronto Raptors star Kyle Lowry.

“As the Miami Heat create salary cap space, Toronto free agent guard Kyle Lowry remains a firm target in free agency, sources tell ESPN,” Wojnarowski tweeted. “Miami has more levers to pull to create space to sign Lowry outright — or can still endeavor to work a sign-and-trade with the Raptors.”

Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang tweeted that both Dragic and Iguodala could be involved in a multi-team sign-and-trade.

“Thinking is if Heat acquires Kyle Lowry via sign-and-trade, Goran Dragic would likely be part of the deal,” Chiang tweeted. “The Heat’s other free agents, even Iguodala, could also be included to create a double sign-and-trade. But it would take their cooperation to get that type of deal done.”

If Dragic Is Used in a Sign-and-Trade, the Heat Will Have the Cap Space to Retain Duncan Robinson

GettyTyler Herro #14 and Duncan Robinson #55 of the Miami Heat react against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first quarter at the Wells Fargo Center on January 12, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

If the Heat plan on pulling off a sign-and-trade with Dragic’s team option, ESPN Bobby Marks sees the decision as being two-fold. Not only could they acquire Lowry, but they’d have enough cap space to keep sharpshooter Duncan Robinson.

Marks tweeted, “This would allow Miami to act as a team over the cap and still have the $9.5M midlevel plus the ability to bring back restricted free agent Duncan Robinson.”

However, there are complications to making everything work out, as Wojnarowski pointed out. “A Dragic sign-and-trade would need to include assets — such as draft picks and/or young players — to incentivize Raptors’ involvement,” he tweeted. “TOR could decide to keep Dragic, or work a buyout, save money and allow him to play elsewhere. Free agency starts Monday at 6, it’s all fluid.”

Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman noted, “Should Dragic ultimately be dealt to the Raptors, he likely would receive a buyout from Toronto and be able to sign with the team of his choice (but not allowed, under league rule, to return to the Heat).”

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