Miami Heat Insider Delivers Bad News on Return of Fan Favorite

Goran Dragic (left) and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra

Getty Goran Dragic (left) and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra

As much as it would please Heat fans, the chances of a reunion with point guard Goran Dragic in Miami, on the heels of the team bringing back Josh Richardson this summer, remain pretty slim. In fact, if Miami were to scrap its plans to sign a developmental player with its 14th, and likely final, roster spot, there’s a stronger chance they could look at former star point guard John Wall than another go-round with Dragic.

That’s the word from longtime Heat beat writer Ira Winderman, who answered a mailbag question on the Dragic topic by pointing out, significantly, that Dragic is a 37-year-old point guard, and the Heat have one of those on hand already.

“For now, it appears that Josh Richardson will serve as point guard behind Kyle Lowry,” Winderman wrote. “And if Kyle does not start, I’m not sure a team can carry both a pair of 37-year-old point guards in reserve in Lowry and Dragic. Now, if Lowry is dealt, that would change to calculus. So your hope might be with a waiting game rather than a move to Goran in the short run. And even then, if the Heat do look for experience, there also is John Wall still out there.”

John Wall in Miami?

Wall would be an interesting, if somewhat strange, fit with the Heat. He’s a very good ballhandler who long relied on his speed to drive his game, but has struggled to return to form since having Achilles tendon surgery in 2019.

Wall sat out two of the past four seasons entirely, played 40 games for Houston in 2020-21, then played 34 with the Clippers last year. He averaged 11.4 points and 5.4 assists in 22.2 minutes, showing he still has some lead-guard chops, but he is a poor shooter (30.3% from the 3-point line) and defender, making him an awkward fit for a Heat team that emphasizes versatility.

Wall was dealt away by the Clippers at the trade deadline, as part of the Eric Gordon deal, and no one picked him up.

Young Players to Battle for 14th Spot

Dragic could come aboard if the Heat find a deal for Lowry, but Miami is not looking to unload Lowry simply to be rid of him—that would cost the team draft assets and/or a young player. If there is a star player to bring back who would fit the team as it stands, and Lowry was needed to match salaries, that would open the way for a deal. But that scenario has not yet presented itself.

Expect the Heat to stay the course over the next two weeks. They’ve got three two-way players on hand (Dru Smith, Jamal Cain and R.J. Hampton), and those will probably remain intact.

The five guys on Exhibit 10 deals—Cheick Diallo, Justin Champagnie, Alondes Williams, Drew Peterson and Cole Swider—are, it can be assumed, battling it out for the No. 14 spot on the roster. It’s unclear what the Heat will be looking for with that spot, but the kind of shooter who can replace Max Strus is a good bet, which would point toward either Peterson or Swider.

If the team is looking for athleticism on the wing, Champagnie or Williams would be the guy. If it’s high-energy shot-blocking from a more polished big guy, then it will be Diallo.

That’s not to say the Heat won’t look outside for another veteran player like Dragic or Wall, but if they do, it likely means there is an injury or some other new concern that has cropped up.

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