While free agent guard Goran Dragic has expressed an interest in returning to the Miami Heat for the 2020-21 season, he’s not dismissing the idea of signing to play for another team.
Dragic’s role in helping the Heat reach the NBA Finals last month was marred by the fact that he missed a good portion of that series due to injury. Despite making the Finals, he mentioned (beginning at the 6:10 mark) to NBA insider Shams Charania that he could end up elsewhere for the 2020-21 campaign.
Goran Dragic sits down on @Stadium: Leadership and sacrifice, revealing he is now fully recovered from the plantar fascia tear he suffered in the Finals, desire to stay in Miami while listening to offers in free agency and more. pic.twitter.com/k3IY8JoaNI
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 13, 2020
“For me, the most important thing is that I be respected because I put a lot of hard work in my game, and I think I play hard,” Dragic said. “So, of course, I know Miami wants to bring me back. I’m hoping we can finish this championship run next season, but I know this is part of the business.
“It’s a lot of options here and we’ll see. I’m open to all suggestions, and from there on, we’re gonna see which one is the best possibility for me and for my family. So, yeah, Miami’s up there. They were great to me and we’ll see. Hopefully, we can make a deal.”
Dragic made $19.2 million for the 2019-20 campaign, the final season of a five-year contract extension he signed in 2015. Any deal with the Heat is likely to only be for one year, given the 34-year-old Dragic’s age and the Heat’s desire to have payroll flexibility for next summer’s batch of free agents.
During the 2019-20 regular season, Dragic started only three of the 59 games he played in, but then was inserted into the starting lineup once the postseason began.
As a starter in all but one of his 17 playoff games, Dragic averaged 19.1 points, 4.4 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game, but only saw action in the first and last game of the finals. His absence resulted in the Heat falling to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.