— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 13, 2019
After an injury-plagued season and at age 33, this could be one of the last big paydays for Dragic, who’ll hit unrestricted free agency next summer.
Goran Dragic Opts into Player Option For Next Season
The Impact of Goran Dragic Picking up his Option
Dragic was originally acquired via trade back at the 2015 trade deadline, then re-signed in the offseason for on a five year, $90 million deal. The goal at the time was to pair him with All-Stars Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to contend for a title. Unfortunately, Bosh’s blood clot issues killed that dream and forced the Heat into a rebuild. To Dragic’s credit, he took on a role he never signed up for and stepped up as a leader and mentor. He would be one of Miami’s best players over the next few years, even making the All-Star team in 2018.
Dragic struggled with injuries and consistency in the 2018-2019 season. He had surgery on his right knee in December of 2018 that kept him out until the end of February of 2019. By the time he came back, Justise Winslow had entrenched himself as the starting point guard. Dragic didn’t sulk though as he came off the bench, thriving by feasting on second units. Dragic finished the 2018-2019 season averaging 13.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game.
There was speculation Dragic might opt out of his player option to resign on a longer-term deal with the Heat. He’ll now hit unrestricted free agency in the 2020 offseason, which is looking to be a weaker free agency class. For the Heat, this limits their cap flexibility this year but increases it next summer when Dragic comes off the books. Dragic is also eligible for draft-day trades next Thursday. Pat Riley has already said he made Dragic no assurances he won’t be traded. Even if he stays on the roster, he could play an excellent role off the bench as the sixth man. Dragic has made his decision, now we’ll see what the Miami Heat front office does with it.
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