Weeks before the training camp begins, rumors and speculations are currently circulating that the Miami Heat are shopping All-Star point guard Goran Dragic. With the Heat not expected to make a huge impact in the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference, Miami may consider moving their best player for trade assets that could help them rebuild the team. Once Dragic officially becomes available on the trade market, one of the NBA teams who is expected to express interest in acquiring him is the New Orleans Pelicans.
The 2018 NBA free agency concluded with the Pelicans losing two of their key players — DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo. Cousins joined the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors, while Rondo signed a one-year deal to team up with LeBron James in the Los Angeles Lakers. The acquisition of Julius Randle is somewhat expected to fill the hole left by Cousins, but it remains questionable if Elfrid Payton can replicate Rondo’s contribution for the Pelicans next season.
With their goal to fully dominate the Western Conference next season, trading for a more reliable point guard like Goran Dragic makes a lot of sense for the Pelicans. According to Oleh Kosel of SB Nation‘s The Bird Writes, Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps has already expressed interest in acquiring Dragic in the past years, and there is a strong possibility that they could chase him once again if the Heat are willing to trade him for the right price.
“Not only is Dragic familiar with Head Coach Alvin Gentry after their time together in Phoenix, General Manager Dell Demps has a history of chasing the 6’3 floor general. First, when the team was in the process of granting Chris Paul his wish to leave New Orleans, Demps’ original trade proposal included Goran Dragic in the return package. Then three years ago during free agency, the organization reportedly had interest in adding The Dragon to the roster. Maybe a third hard pursuit by Demps would be the charm?”
Goran Dragic Being Made Available in Trade Discussions: https://t.co/K5gN8oANZi— Heat Nation (@HeatNationCom) September 2, 2018
The potential acquisition of Goran Dragic will allow Jrue Holiday to play off the ball. With Rajon Rondo as the Pelicans starting point guard last season, Holiday found success playing at the two-guard spot, averaging 19.0 points, 6.0 assists, and 2.5 steals on 49.4 percent shooting from the field and 33.7 percent from beyond the arc. Though Dragic has a different style of play with Rondo, he definitely won’t have a hard time building a good chemistry with Holiday.
A starting lineup featuring Dragic, Holiday, Nikola Mirotic, Julius Randle, and Anthony Davis will give the Pelicans fans something to be excited about next season. However, it remains questionable if the Pelicans have enough trade assets to convince the Heat to trade Dragic.