The Miami Heat made the bold move to acquire disgruntled guard Goran Dragic from the Phoenix Suns in a deal this past February. They did so with the understanding that he could become a free agent this summer.
It’s now being reported by ESPN’s Marc Stein that Miami’s anticipated offer to Dragic will fall short of the four-year, $85 max deal that other teams can offer the 29-year-old guard. According to Stein, Miami’s offer will come in at five years and $80-plus million.
“Sources told ESPN.com that the Heat are planning to offer Dragic a five-year deal in excess of $80 million to keep him in Miami after acquiring the 2014 All-NBA third-team selection from Phoenix on trade deadline day in February.”
While Stein did indicate that the Heat will aggressively pursue Dragic when he opts out of his deal next month, they are stopping short of the $85 million they can offer him under league rules.
That leaves the window open for the guard to move on to another team that can offer him more than the $16 million Miami is said to be willing to offer. Based on the $85 million figure other teams can Dragic over four years, Miami’s offer is just $5 million less. However, it does come in at about $5.3 million less annually. The one thing Miami does have in its favor here is that it’s the only team that can offer Dragic a fifth year.
Complicating things further, Dragic should receive interest from both the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers on the open market. Both can go as high as $85 million over four years.
As it relates to the Heat, they are between a rock and a hard place until Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng decide whether to pick up their 2015-16 options—a number that comes in at $26.3 million combined.
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