Ex-Heat Star Apologizes to Toronto Raptors After Harsh Comment

Goran Dragic

Getty Former Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic may be angling for a trade to the Dallas Mavericks.

It’s been less than a week since the Miami Heat parted ways with Goran Dragic in a controversial sign-and-trade. And the Euro legend is already looking for a new home, perhaps one closer to Texas barbecue.

Dragic, who spent seven seasons in South Beach, was officially sent packing to the Toronto Raptors on Aug. 6 in the deal for Kyle Lowry. It was widely assumed that Dragic would be traded to another team in the “nod and wink” transaction. But Toronto has “resisted external interest” in the 35-year-old Slovenian (via NBA reporter Marc Stein) despite Dragic’s burning desire to join the Dallas Mavericks and team up with fellow countryman Luka Doncic.

Monday started with a video clip of Dragic telling a Slovenian TV station (via Dallas Morning News) that he has no intention of playing for the Raptors next season. He has “higher ambitions” than to start from scratch in Canada with a team in rebuild mode. Later in the day, the straight-shooting Dragic cleared the air and denied any ill-will toward Toronto (via Michael Grange of Sportsnet):

My message, basically to all Toronto fans, is: I would like to apologize. It didn’t come out the right way. I know they love their team, and they should be proud, it is one of the best organizations in the NBA.

I love basketball, I love to play, and I’m going to give 100-percent wherever I play. Right now I’m [with] Toronto and that’s my main thing to think about.

Dragic averaged 13.4 points and 4.4 assists in 50 games last season while shooting 37.3% from three-point range. The Heat exercised their club option on Dragic ($19.4 million, via Spotrac) in order to create salary cap space for Lowry. Any team trading for the one-time All-Star would have to pick that up, or the Raptors could buy Dragic out at a reduced sum and let him hit the open market.

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Dragic Wishes to ‘End Career’ with Doncic

The two biggest Slovenian basketball stars in the world have admired each other for many years. And they have dreamed of teaming up at some point before their careers are over. Dragic didn’t mince words when asked if the thought had ever crossed his mind. He told Matej Podgoršek of Planet TV that he “definitely” wants it to happen.

“Maybe I would really end my career together with Luka Doncic in a Dallas Mavericks jersey,” Dragic told Podgoršek on Aug. 3. “But these are all guesses now. I still don’t know where I’m going to play. But I definitely want to play with him someday.”

Flash back to a 2019 game in Miami when 2,000 Slovenian fans took over the arena to watch Dragic and Doncic square off for the first time as NBA opponents. Remember, they were teammates back on the Slovenian National Basketball Team and put on a show versus Greece at EuroBasket 2017. Now imagine the potential if they joined forces in Dallas.

All Love From Miami Heat

Dragic’s exit from Miami was expected and there was no bad blood from the beloved “Dragon.” Both sides jumped on social media to gush about their memorable seven-year run together. Dragic might see his No. 7 jersey retired up in the rafters someday.

Dragic wrote the following on Instagram:

Miami!!! Thank you for all of the LOVE, KINDNESS and SUPPORT over these last seven years. You embraced me and my family like your own from Day 1 and we are forever grateful for the life we’ve built, friends we’ve made and experiences we’ve shared as a part of the #305. We will never forget you #HeatNation and will see you all soon.


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