Miami Heat Trade Rumors: Pat Riley Ready To Break Up Roster Before NBA Trade Deadline?

Miami Heat trade rumors revolve around two players this season, with Goran Dragic taking center stage this week. Hassan Whiteside can relax for a bit as Dragic has taken over as the best “available” player getting talked about in Miami. A report by NBA analyst Michael Scotto states that the veteran guard could get dealt by the trade deadline depending on whether or not he fits into the long-term plans of team president Pat Riley.

Another report comes from NBA analyst Chris Mannix, who relayed that Dragic is not opposed to getting traded to another team. That might make it easier for the Heat to deal the starting point guard, but it could also hint that he is ready to play for a new team. As Miami continues to struggle, that might be exactly what takes place. Mannix also talks about how Miami had been working on a deal with the Sacramento Kings during the NBA offseason.

“Dragic is open to a trade, league sources told The Vertical, and Miami has pursued that option. An early season swap with Sacramento for Rudy Gay fell apart when the Heat sought Darren Collison, sources said, and teams that have probed Miami about Dragic have found the Heat open to offers.”

So will the latest Miami Heat trade rumors lead to something taking place? It is unlikely that the Sacramento Kings are still going to be interested in a deal, as the franchise may be ready to start dealing pieces in an effort to completely rebuild. Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins could be attained by a team offering the right package of youth and draft picks, but it’s unclear if the Kings want to take back any long-term salary commitments.

Goran Dragic Against Boston Celtics
[Image by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]

During the 2016-17 NBA season, Goran Dragic is putting up some great numbers for the Miami Heat. Through 24 games this season, he is averaging 19.1 points, 6.7 assists, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.0 steals per game. Dragic is shooting an impressive 41.6 percent from three-point range and 45.3 percent from the field as a whole. Those are numbers that could make Dragic a very attractive commodity to other teams around the league. He is also locked up through at least the 2018-19 NBA season, with a player option in place for the following year.

While some teams might wait until the NBA trade deadline to make a deal (or two), the Miami Heat trade rumors might indicate that this is a team ready to make an immediate deal. In the updated NBA standings, Miami is closer to having the worst record in the conference than holding one of the eight playoff spots. The Heat have a record of 10-20 and reside in 13th place in the East. The team has also lost seven of its last 10 games, suggesting things could get much worse this season.

In addition to the Goran Dragic trade rumors, many NBA analysts have suggested that the team should deal center Hassan Whiteside as well. If Pat Riley decides that the best route for the franchise to take is a long-term rebuild, he could certainly turn Dragic and Whiteside into several young players and good draft picks. Packaging them in the same trade could really help the team get back on track in a few years. While Whiteside would certainly command the best return package, only losing Dragic might also be easier for the team to survive.

Goran Dragic Against Atlanta Hawks
[Image by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]

The trick here is going to be for Pat Riley to find a team that doesn’t mind taking on a veteran point guard who is signed for possibly three more years. While Goran Dragic is certainly a talented point guard, he doesn’t have the talent or fan draw of a player like Chris Paul. This might mean that another team could get Dragic at a discount, especially if that team is willing to give up cheaper assets to get him. Fans of the team should expect these Miami Heat trade rumors to continue until Dragic or Whiteside get dealt, or until the NBA trade deadline hits in February.

[Featured Image by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]