Goran Dragic says he only wanted to play for Miami Heat despite having offers from European powerhouses

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Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Former Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic revealed that he only wanted to play for the Heat despite having offers from several European teams.

Dragic recently announced his retirement, ending an impressive professional career.

“I will be honest,” Dragic said. “I had offers from Europe, from Milan, Madrid, Panathinaikos, Barcelona. … I never wanted to go back to Europe. I wouldn’t want to be without my children living in the U.S. for a year.”

Dragic went on to share that he only wanted to play with the Heat, who he was in talks with as a free agent.

“The only option was Miami, with whom I was in talks,” Dragic said. “In the end, it didn’t work out because they have too many players under contract.”

It’s a shame that Dragic and the Heat weren’t able to work something out, as the veteran guard had some of the best seasons of his career in Miami. He was a key piece in the team’s run to the NBA Finals in the Orlando, Fla. bubble in the 2019-20 season.

Dragic started the 2022-23 season with the Chicago Bulls, but he was waived and ended up signing with the Milwaukee Bucks.

In 51 games for the Bulls (all in a bench role), the one-time All-Star guard averaged 6.4 points, 1.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from 3-point range.

With Milwaukee, Dragic appeared in seven games during the regular season, averaging 5.6 points in 11.9 minutes per game. The Heat ended up knocking the Bucks out of the playoffs in the first round in the 2022-23 season.

Dragic came to Miami during the 2014-15 season in a trade with the Phoenix Suns. He remained with the franchise through the 2020-21 season, and he was named an All-Star for the only time in his career with the Heat.

As a Heat player, Dragic averaged 16.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game while shooting 45.7 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from 3-point range.

Dragic revealed his main reason for retiring instead of looking to play professionally elsewhere.

“During this time I was at home, I trained every day, even now,” Dragic said. “But my children are the most important to me now. I took them to school every day and saw how much time I lost in my career. That is the main reason I retired.”

The guard also revealed that his left knee isn’t in the best condition at the moment.

While Dragic and the Heat never reunited, Heat fans can always look back fondly on the lefty guard’s time with the franchise.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.