Goran Dragic’s storybook return to the Miami Heat has been a fan fantasy ever since he was sent to Toronto as part of the Kyle Lowry trade. Alas, league rules prevented him from rejoining the club directly from the Raptors, even if they had decided to buy him out.
However, following his trade-deadline move to San Antonio, that particular barrier no longer exists. And, as fate would have it, the Spurs are expected to negotiate a contract buyout with the former All-Star.
Once completed, he’ll be free to make a return trip to South Beach, if he so chooses. That said, his fit with the current crew may be an awkward one. Moreover, Heat president Pat Riley will undoubtedly face stiff competition in securing his services should he elect to pursue the floor general.
Nevertheless, multiple league insiders are reporting that Dragic coming back to the Heat is, at the least, within the realm of possibility.
Don’t a Discount Dragic Return
In the end, Dragic will have to decide what the next step in his hardwood journey will be. After he was dealt to the Spurs, the Mavericks were namechecked as the favorite to land him. However, they subsequently brought guard Spencer Dinwiddie on board in the Kristaps Porzingis trade.
The Bucks, Bulls, Warriors, Clippers and Lakers have also been mentioned as possibilities, with the latter two clubs reportedly planning an “aggressive pursuit” of the 35-year-old.
“He is going to consider all of his options as I understand it,” an NBA source told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney ahead of a Facebook Live interview.
“Obviously, competing for a championship is high on the list. Milwaukee, the Warriors, even the Nets, you’d have to look out for them. Chicago in the mix. But everyone knows how much he loved his time in Miami, and how much Miami loved him. Not sure the fit is there, but they’re going to go through the process at least.”
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Winderman Adds Fuel to the Fire
For his part, the Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman noted that there’s significant smoke where a Dragic return is concerned. While he, too, made mention of the fact that several teams will be on the hunt, the Heat insider also brought up the following:
- “Dragic has regularly been working out in South Florida at Stan Remy’s gym.”
- “Including working with Markieff Morris, as the sidelined Heat forward sought more work.”
- “Dragic also has been a regular at FTX Arena, including while still on Toronto’s roster.”
He added, “for a team known for reunions, don’t summarily dismiss the Dragic possibility.”
Dragic appeared in just five games for the Raptors this season before getting moved. During the 2020-21 campaign, he averaged 13.4 points, 4.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game while hitting 37.3% of his three-point attempts.