In mid-February, Goran Dragic was traded to the Miami Heat in-exchange for two first round picks and forward Danny Granger. The move was supposed to sky rocket the Heat back into the elite tier of teams in the Eastern Conference. That unfortunately couldn’t happen due to Chris Bosh being diagnosed with blood clots. Dragic wanted to win in Miami, but he understands that what happened to the Heat in the 2nd half of the season was something they couldn’t prevent.
“To make the next step in my career, I’m looking for how I’m going to fit in with the players, with the team and what kind of style of the game that we’re going to play,” Dragic said after his exit interview in mid-April. “The last two months I felt really great here. Unfortunately, we didn’t make the playoffs but we know what kind of situation it was with the team. If I’m going to stay here, I will be looking forward to playing with all of those guys – especially with Chris Bosh and Josh McRoberts because they are two big parts of this team.”
Dragic is also on record for saying that his first choice is in free agency this Summer will be the Heat.
“As long as I’m in a happy environment and a healthy organization, that’s the most important thing,” Dragic said. “The next three, four, five years — I want to spend it on this kind of team, like the Miami Heat. They have great players, great coaching staff and great training staff.”
Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is already planning on having Dragic back for the 2015-2016 season.
“We will spend a great deal of time putting together hypothetical plans for training camp,” said Erik Spoelstra. “It’s safe to say one of Goran’s strengths is pace and speed of play. That was our design coming into training camp this year anyway without him and with the personnel that we had. Ideally if we bring back the majority of the personnel that we thought, we’re going to be able to play [that way]. It makes even more sense to play with that pace and speed and quickness to be able to take advantage of his skill set.”
Dwyane Wade has also praised Dragic as the best point guard he has ever played with.
“I haven’t played with a point guard with his ability since I’ve been here, in the league,” Wade said.
“This is going to be great for everyone, a guy who can penetrate, set guys up, but also a guy who can score the basketball, as well, someone who’s very tough.
“You want a tough guy to play with. He is that. Needless to say, I was very happy about what we were able to do at the trade deadline.”
Dragic is expected to receive a max contract offer from the Heat this season. The Heat own Dragic’s bird rights and are the only team that can offer Dragic a contract worth over 100 million. Dragic averaged 16.3 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game this season and averaged 16.6 points, 5.3 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per game with the Heat this season.
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