Issac Baldizon/Getty Images
It’s been a difficult start of the 2016-17 season to say the least for the Miami Heat. Through 29 games, they sit in 13th place in the Eastern Conference at 9-20, which could lead to the departure of point guard Goran Dragic.
Continue for updates.
Dragic, Heat Looking Are Looking For A Deal
Thursday, Dec. 22
According to Chris Mannix of The Vertical, Dragic is “open for a trade,” as the Heat have already “pursued that option.”
Dragic was expected to help bring the Heat back into contention within the conference after they acquired him from the Phoenix Suns toward the end of the 2014-15 season.
It was the Heat’s first season without LeBron James, who had returned to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers during the previous summer.
But with Chris Bosh’s medical issues and the departure of Dwyane Wade during free agency, Dragic has become the centerpiece of a team riddled with inconsistency.
He is leading the Heat with 19.1 points and 6.7 assists per game, as he and Hassan Whiteside (18.1 PPG) have been the only regular contributors on the team. No other player averages more than 14.2 points per game.
Neither he nor Whiteside has been nearly enough, as the Heat are just 1.5 games in front of the last-place Philadelphia 76ers.
The Heat have attempted to ship Dragic already this season. According to Mannix, a trade for Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay couldn’t gain traction because Miami also wanted Darren Collison included in the deal.
Seeing as they won’t be able to get anything done with Dragic leading the backcourt, it might be best for the Heat to deal the point guard while they can still get a solid return.
There will be some obstacles, though, as Dragic is owed $54.3 million over the next three seasons, per Spotrac. That’s a hefty salary for any team to take on.
At 30 years old, Dragic is in danger of seeing a dip in his play over the next few seasons. His numbers this year are at an All-Star level, so Miami might want to take advantage of it as soon as possible if it wants to build a team that can get out of the cellar of the Eastern Conference.