When the Miami Heat traded for Goran Dragic from the Phoenix Suns in February 2015, the front office envisioned a new “Big Three” in which Dragic, long time Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh could replicate what they had with LeBron James. But, Dragic last season in 2016 was subpar, Wade was aging and Bosh has been sidelined with a bloodclot in his leg. Wade is now with the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat has ended Bosh’s career with them. So now, it’s Dragic, second year player Justice Winslow whom Miami drafted with their first pick in 2015, and Hasaan Whiteside, who’s become one of the NBA’s breakout players over the last few seasons. While the Heat appear to have a development going, it’s showing with their win-loss record, too. The Miami Heat currently sit at 14th in the Eastern Conference with a 11-30 record. The Miami Heat’s plan to continue their dominance of the Eastern Conference from 2010-14 is long gone.
Because of that status, should the Heat completely start anew and trade Dragic for draft picks? Or should Miami attempt to get someone they could build around who’s younger? Dragic is currently 30 years old and will turn 31 in May. While the trade deadline is in a month, the prospect of Dragic being traded by Miami is very real according Bleacher Report writer Dan Favale, Favale think’s it’s ideal for the Miami Heat to trade for Dragic because of his salary situation (Dragic signed a five year, 90 million dollar contract in the summer of 2015).
“Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald refuted Lowe’s report, but the thinking tracks. The Heat are rebuilding, and Dragic will be well past his prime by the time they’re contending again. Trading him now can bring back picks and prospects that better fit the team’s timeline.
“Franchise maestro Pat Riley forked over two first-rounders to get Dragic, so he needs to get at least the equivalent of that in return—hence ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reporting the Heat’s asking price is “too high to encourage any serious trade discussions.”
“Still, at least one suitor should eventually bend. Dragic is that good.
“Mike Conley is the only other player matching his three-point (40.8) and assists (33.0) percentages. Despite defenses brazenly packing the paint against a clunky offense, Miami’s point man is hitting almost 60 percent of his shots around the basket.”
Favale also believes that the time is now for the Miami Heat to make a move on Dragic. He’s not getting any younger and his value is at its peak.
“Best of all: Dragic is in the second season of a five-year pact that was signed before the salary-cap boom. The $54.3 million he’s owed between 2017-18 and 2019-20 (player option) is a steal in the new financial climate.
“Dragic’s value won’t climb any higher than it is now. Waiting for the offseason is even a risk, because the team is removing midseason offers from desperate wannabe contenders (sup, Chicago Bulls?) from the equation.”
Mid-season trades can make a struggling team strong and a strong team even stronger. For instance, Channing Frye was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers from the Orlando Magic and played a key part in the Cavaliers run to an NBA title last season. For the Miami Heat, they have a choice to either trade to contend, or trade to rebuild. They have a young team in which a younger, potential star/already star player could make an impact for the Heat. Whether or not the Miami Heat will make the trade remains to be seen. But, trading Dragic while his trade demand is high and so is his value, could prove to be a wise decision for the Heat down the road.
[Featured Image via Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]