Heat Nation Predictions: Which Miami Heat Players Are Staying and Leaving?

Heat Nation Predictions: Which Miami Heat Players Are Staying and Leaving?

Dwyane Wade smiling on the Miami Heat

3. Goran Dragic

Goran Dragic of the Miami Heat

Dragic has already made it clear he will opt out of his contract to test free agency. But he has also stressed that he would prefer to return to Miami when the season ended: ”

“I’m a free agent, but I like this organization. I hope to stay here.”

The Heat will have salary cap space to sign either Dragic or Wade to $20 million a year, which is the type of number that both players covet. The difference is, Dragic is a 29-year-old point guard in the prime of his career who will assuredly attract numerous teams even with those salary demands. After all, he is the top point guard on the market in a league dominated by small players.

On the other hand, Wade is a 33-year-old banged up shooting guard who is entering the twilight years of his career. While still an effective All-Star player, teams won’t be knocking down the door to sign a player like Wade. In fact, the only teams that are going to even consider paying Wade more than the $16 million he would be due for the 2015-16 season are the Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Dragic was acquired at the trade deadline this past season, and Riley has stated that the franchise has every intention of retaining Dragic:

“If he doesn’t sign, my ass is going to be in that [media] seat, and I’ll be writing about it.”

With both sides feeling mutual about one another, the Slovenian point guard should be back on South Beach for the 2015-16 season, even if the salary number will be a little bit too high.

Prediction: Staying

Next: Dwyane Wade

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