Ex-Heat Star Abruptly Leaves Toronto Raptors Due to a ‘Personal Matter’

Goran Dragic

@the_1_dragon/Instagram Former Miami Heat star Goran Dragic, who was traded to the Toronto Raptors, is leaving the team due to a 'personal matter.'

Former Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic, who was dealt to the Toronto Raptors in the sign-and-trade deal that brought Kyle Lowry to South Beach in free agency, has abruptly left his new team after appearing in just five games.

The Raptors organization put out an official statement on Dragic’s exit, stating the veteran guard needs to “manage a personal matter” and will be out indefinitely.

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Raptors general manager Bobby Webster said: Goran is taking some time away from the team, with our full support, to manage a personal matter. He has been a complete professional in the time that he has been with the Raptors — Goran has been a great mentor to our younger players and a valued teammate for our veterans.”

As for when or if the 35-year-old Slovenian star will be returning to play with the Raptors, the statement remained vague. However, the Raptors franchise made it clear that he’s not leaving on bad terms and has the full support of the team’s vice-chairman and president Masai Ujiri and head coach Nick Nurse.

“He will continue to work out and stay in shape during his time away. There is no definite timeline for this process, and we will advise updates as appropriate. Goran has the backing of Masai, Nick, and the entire organization, and we wish him nothing but the best.”

Dragic Hasn’t Played Since November 13

Dragic’s overall time with Toronto has been brief. The last time he appeared in a Raptors jersey was in a game against the Detroit Piston on November 13, which was his best game of the season thus far. where he scored 16 points in 28 minutes of play.

The move to Toronto was not something Dragic wanted to do, and his family remained in the Miami area after the trade went through. However, according to Sportsnet’s Michael Grange, the issue Dragic must deal with has the NBA veteran heading back to Slovenia.

Grange tweeted, “Further to this comment from the Raptors GM Bobby Webster on Goran Dragic, my understanding is this is a long-term play. Nothing is locked, but Dragic will likely remain in Slovenia attending to family matters and training until trade deadline and/our buyout market heats up.”

Rumors Swirled Dragic Would Eventually End Up in Dallas

Goran Dragic Heat

GettyGoran Dragic of the Miami Heat handles the ball during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Because of Dragic’s close relationship with his fellow Slovenian star, Luka Doncic, there’s a lot of speculation and hope he would ultimately land with the Dallas Mavericks.

“If the Raptors buy out Goran Dragic, he would “obviously” have interest in joining Luka Doncic and Igor Koskosov in Dallas, source tells AP,” Reynolds tweeted. “Contenders will line up for him if a buyout occurs. The Lakers have had interest in him forever.”

Last season, the former second-round averaged 13.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. In the five games he’s played during the 2021 NBA season with the Raptors, he’s averaged 8.0 points per game and 2.8 rebounds.

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