Goran Dragic is hands down one of the Miami Heat‘s most beloved players, so learning that Bleacher Report predicts the veteran guard will be Cleveland Cavaliers’ “top target” this offseason is not exactly exciting news.
Dragic, when healthy, is a vital piece of the Heat’s roster. This past season he averaged, 13.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 0.7 steals. He shot 43.2% on field goals, 37.3% on three-pointers, and 82.8 % on free throws.
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The Slovenian star, who turned 35 earlier this year, is still a restricted free agent. He will only become a free agent if the Heat choose not to pick up his $19.4 million team option. If the Heat decline his option, Cleveland wouldn’t have to break the bank to pick him up.
Bleacher Report‘s Greg Swartz pointed out, “the Cavs could offer him their full $9.5 mid-level exception…. Even a new deal for Jarrett Allen will leave Cleveland plenty of space below the luxury-tax line to sign Dragic and a few other bargain vets.”
Cleveland Needs to Add ‘Some Veterans Around Their Young Core’
It’s hard to imagine the Heat without “The Dragon.” Not only is he best friends with five-time All-Star Jimmy Butler, but his selfless playing style perfectly gels with Heat culture.
But if Miami is able to acquire a big name such as Kawhi Leonard or Bradley Beal, the Heat will have to reconsider what they can offer to pay Dragic. And according to Swartz, he’s exactly what the Cavaliers need for next for a successful restructure:
Going into the fourth year of their rebuild, the Cleveland Cavaliers should follow the Atlanta Hawks’ model and start adding some veterans around their young core. Backup point guard was an issue for the Cavs all season with Matthew Dellavedova missing 59 games, and they could use someone with Goran Dragic’s playoff experience to have around Darius Garland and Collin Sexton. At 6’3″, he’d be the tallest member of the trio by a few inches as well.
Heat Fans Believe If Dragic Stays in Miami, He Could Recruit Luka Doncic to South Beach
Following the disparaging reports about Luka Doncic’s tense relationship with a few members of the Mavericks’ front office, doubts that the 22-year-old will remain in Dallas for the foreseeable future filled Twitter, kickstarting rumors on that his Dragic, his fellow Slovenian buddy, could lure him to Miami.
Fueling the rumors, Dragic is overseeing Doncic and the Slovenian National Team as they prepare to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Naturally, this pipe dream scenario can only take place if Dragic remains in Miami.
One man tweeted, “In a heartbeat. Luka to the HEAT is Goran Dragic’s last gift to Miami.” Other online users believe it will be more of a long game to get Doncic to Miami. Heat fans suggest Pat Riley somehow plants Dragic in Dallas, where he can take his time luring Doncic to South Beach.
While Dragic and Doncic share the same agent, it remains highly implausible that the latter turns down what’s expected to be a $200 super-max extension with Dallas.
And the “chess game” approach is even less believable. Time is not on Dragic’s side. At age 35, if he wants to convince the future MVP to play alongside him in Miami, such a conversation would have to happen now.