Days before the training camp begins, rumors and speculations continue to swirl that the Miami Heat could part ways with point guard Goran Dragic. John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 took to Twitter to reveal that the Heat have made the 32-year-old Slovenian superstar “available” on the trade market.
According to ClutchPoints, one of the NBA teams that could express interest in acquiring Goran Dragic is the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs lost four key players this offseason. Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green were traded to the Toronto Raptors, Tony Parker joined the Charlotte Hornets, and Manu Ginobili announced his retirement. The Spurs still have LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan on their team, but they need to further improve their roster to make a huge impact in the deep Western Conference for the upcoming 2018-19 NBA season.
One of the issues that the Spurs could address is the point guard position. After Parker signed with the Hornets, the Spurs are left with Dejounte Murray and Patty Mills to run the point.
However, as ClutchPoints Igor Sopar notes, Mills is solid but not exceptional, while Murray still needs lots of experience to lead a team. This is why trading for Goran Dragic makes a lot of sense for the Spurs.
“If the Spurs stand pat under those circumstances, they will risk wasting the far end of LaMarcus Aldridge’s prime and DeMar DeRozan’s best years without an adequate floor general required to threaten the top dogs of the West. Enter Goran Dragic. In a search for the best available successor to Tony Parker in terms of playstyle and demeanor on the court, the Dragon is an obvious top 3 candidate. While he certainly isn’t at the peak of his prime anymore, he is still a respectable, above average point guard coming off a 17/5/4 year with no apparent signs of abruptly slowing down.”
The Heat also showed no inclination in trading Josh Richardson, Goran Dragic, Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo. And Miami’s preference this summer was to keep James Johnson and Justise Winslow.
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Goran Dragic could be the perfect replacement for Tony Parker. Aside from being an experienced point guard, Dragic will also give the Heat a reliable option on the offensive end of the floor. In the 75 games he played with the Heat last season, Dragic averaged 17.3 points, 4.8 assists, and 4.1 rebounds. He racked up an impressive success rate of 45 percent shooting from the field and 37 percent from beyond the arc.
In the hypothetical trade deal drawn up by ClutchPoints, the Spurs will be sending Pau Gasol and a future first-round pick to the Heat for Goran Dragic. The trade works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. The deal will not only be beneficial for the Spurs but also for the Heat.
Pau Gasol’s contract is only partially guaranteed in 2019-20, giving the Heat the opportunity to waive him after the season. This will allow them to create salary cap space for the summer of 2019 — where several NBA superstars like Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, and Klay Thompson are set to become unrestricted free agents. The future first-round pick they could potentially acquire from the Spurs could enable them to add another young and promising talent to their roster.