Reunion With Ex-Heat Favorite, Former All-Star Is Now Possible

Goran Dragic Bulls-Heat

Getty Goran Dragic speaks to an official during a game between the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat.

Aformer longtime member of the Miami Heat officially received his walking papers on Tuesday. Per an official announcement from Chicago Bulls, veteran combo guard Goran Dragic has been waived.

Dragic, who represented the Heat in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game and spent parts of seven seasons with the franchise, appeared in 51 games as a Bull, averaging just 6.4 points, 2.7 assists and 1.4 rebounds in 15.4 minutes per game. He also sunk 35.2% of his three-point attempts.

The 36-year-old joined the Bulls over the summer on a veteran’s minimum contract amid a strong return to the Slovenian national team (after having previously retired from international competition).

Given his shrinking role with Chicago in recent weeks, it had been expected that Dragic would actually be released earlier this month in order to clear a roster spot for Patrick Beverley. Instead, center Tony Bradley was waived.

The Bulls are finally parting ways with him now for a very specific reason.

Could a Reunion Be in the Works Between Goran Dragic and the Miami Heat?

Should the Miami Heat Bring Back Goran Dragic? Plus, Teams to Implode and Bam Adebayo's DPOY CaseShould the Miami Heat bring back Goran Dragic after he was bought out from the Chicago Bulls? Who would they have to waive, and how could Dragic help? Wes Goldberg and David Ramil break down the option, then discuss which teams Heat fans should be rooting against and why Bam Adebayo called out Rudy Gobert…2023-03-01T05:00:00Z

While Dragic’s efficacy on the court and alottment of minutes had both been on the decline for a while, the Bulls didn’t necessarily release him to bring in an upgrade. Rather, the club was trying to do right by the former Heat star amid his new reality.

“The Bulls’ decision to waive Dragic on Tuesday was to help him try to latch on with another team and be playoff-eligible, not specifically to target a signing,” reported NBC Sports Chicago‘s KC Johnson in the wake of the move.

With that being the case, fans in and around South Beach are no doubt wondering whether the Heat could end up being that other team. After all, many of them have been dreaming up ways to get him back into the fold ever since Pat Riley sent him to Toronto in the trade netting Kyle Lowry.

As it stands, Miami technically has room under the tax apron to sign Dragic to a prorated minimum deal for the remainder of 2022-23. However, the team has no available roster spots after bringing both Kevin Love and Cody Zeller into mix. Moreover, it’s difficult to envision Dragic taking minutes from Lowry — or anyone else for that matter — once the Heat’s floor general returns.

Dragic is eligible to sign with any team by the final day of the regular season (April 9) and still be playoff eligible.

PJ Tucker Speaks Out on Decision to Leave Heat

Some old wounds have been reopened this week amid the Heat’s home-and-home series with the Philadelphia 76ers, i.e. the team that PJ Tucker bolted to from Miami.

However, in speaking with the Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang, Tucker revealed that his heart was with the Heat at the time of his departure. In the end, though, the team’s cumbersome cap/tax situation prevented a second go-round together.

“Honestly, I didn’t want to leave,” Tucker said. “I expressed that I didn’t want to leave. But their situation and them not wanting to be hard-capped, I knew it was going to be a possibility. My family is still there. So I obviously wanted to be there, but it didn’t work out.”

Tucker relayed to Chiang he both “wanted” and “deserved” the full mid-level exception after helping the Heat get to within one game of a Finals appearance last season.

Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x