How NBA’s Suspended Season Could Impact Miami Heat’s Free-Agency Plans

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So much surrounding the NBA is uncertain right now because of the novel coronavirus, and that includes how free agency may be impacted.

According to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel, there’s a possibility that the league’s current hiatus could seriously disrupt the Miami Heat’s plans to build a championship-contending team.

“On one hand, it is possible that Heat free agents such as Goran Dragic, Meyers Leonard and even Jae Crowder exit the season with a sense of unfinished business,” wrote Winderman. “That could inspire them to return for one more shot as teammates. On the other hand, the uncertainty of moments such as this could lead players to turn to the security of long-term contracts, which particularly could be the case with older players. And then, on the other side of the equation, considering the uncertainty of these times, would it be prudent for Giannis Antetokounmpo to turn down the guarantee of a $200 million-plus extension this summer from Milwaukee for the flexibility of something more during the 2021 offseason? It’s almost as if previous expectations and precedents have to be rethought. And there certainly has been plenty of time for that.”

Dragic, in particular, is an interesting case as he’s had a strong season, averaging 16.1 points and 5.1 assists per game. At age 33, he’s also provided some veteran leadership for what is, by and large, a very young Heat team.

If Miami is to retain Dragic, they may only be willing to offer him a discounted contract in order to stay on track with their goal of signing a big name free agent in 2021. That, by itself, could cost them the Slovenian native, unless he’s very serious about remaining in South Florida.

Crowder has also played well for the Heat since he was acquired several weeks ago from the Memphis Grizzlies.

In 13 games in Miami, he has averaged 11.9 points and 5.8 rebounds a game while shooting 39.3 percent from 3-point range.

He’s another veteran with playoff experience who could help the team moving forward if the Heat are able to come to terms with him.

Both Dragic and Crowder will be free agents at the conclusion of the season.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif. and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s, and during that time he has lived through the Alonzo Mourning, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James era of Heat basketball. He feels strongly that the NBA and sports aren't just entertainment, but also a means for learning life lessons.