The Heat are especially high on Goran Dragic, and they also find Reggie Jackson intriguing, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald hears. Jackson writes about Dragic in the context of free agency this summer, noting that Miami is unlikely to have the cap room necessary to sign the 28-year-old guard, who plans to opt out at season’s end, though Dragic is a trade candidate in advance of Thursday’s deadline. Jackson is poised for restricted free agency, but he, too, is a trade candidate and several GMs peg him as one of the three biggest names likely to move within the next week.
Miami is one of the few teams in the league without a strong performer at point guard, while the Suns have a glut at the position and Phoenix GM Ryan McDonough this week acknowledged his club is overloaded in the backcourt. McDonough said he would like to have “a little more frontcourt scoring and rebounding.” The Heat probably aren’t going to part with Chris Bosh or Hassan Whiteside, but they reportedly made a proposal involving big men Chris Andersen, Josh McRoberts and point guard Norris Cole to the Nets for Brook Lopez. Team president Pat Riley denied that report, however, and McRoberts would be of no immediate help to Phoenix, since he’s likely out for the year.
Reports have also linked the Rockets and the Lakers to Dragic, for trades as well as free agency, and the Suns are reportedly seeking a first-round pick in exchange if they’re to relinquish him before the deadline. The Heat owe their first-round pick to the Sixers this year as long as it’s not a top-10 selection.
Jackson’s days in Oklahoma City have appeared numbered since he and the club failed to come to terms on an extension this past fall, and perhaps before then, when he made it clear that he envisions becoming a starting point guard, an opportunity he won’t have teaming with Russell Westbrook. The Knicks seem to have strong interest in Jackson for a trade or in free agency, but the Thunder have reportedly found the trade market for him weaker than they expected. The Heat would have Jackson’s Bird rights and the right to match offers for him this summer if they trade for him before the deadline and tender a qualifying offer by the end of June. As with Dragic, the Heat probably couldn’t afford him otherwise in free agency, since the team is likely to be over the cap come July unless either Dwyane Wade or Luol Deng opt out.