Heat Rumors: Dragic, Whiteside, Ennis

Goran Dragic is intrigued by the possibility of blending his offensive skills with Chris Bosh if he returns to the Heat, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Dragic indicated after the season he will turn down the $7.5MM player option on his contract, thus allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The team hopes to re-sign Dragic, who didn’t get a chance to play with Bosh after Dragic was acquired from the Suns at the trade deadline because of Bosh’s season-ending blood clot issues. “I always put pressure on the defense,” Dragic told Jackson. “If they don’t stop me, I’ve got a layup. If they stop me, Chris is going to pick and pop and that’s a wide open shot for him. Or he makes the next decision on a handoff, and then the big guy needs to recover from down to up, and so that makes a lot of room for other guys. It’s a lot of different strategies we can use with him on the floor.”

In other news involving the Heat:

  • The possibility of building around Dragic and center Hassan Whiteside, who became a rotation player in January, excites coach Erik Spoelstra, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Spoelstra considers Dragic to be an impact, top-10 point guard and Whiteside to be a legitimate, impact center who could get the team back into the playoffs next season, Winderman adds. “We feel very good about the group that we possibly could have back, if we could bring everybody back and start a training camp together,” Spoelstra told the media that covers the team. “We think we can fast-track a lot of this and make guys look different and more comfortable and more confident with each other with time.”
  • James Ennis and Tyler Johnson are the role players that the Heat will most likely bring back, Winderman speculates, as he writes in a separate article. Winderman does not believe the team views the possible returns of Henry Walker or Michael Beasley as a priority. Ennis, Johnson and Walker have non-guaranteed contracts for next season while the team holds an option of approximately $1.27MM on Beasley. Winderman also opines that Luol Deng is likely to return, based upon his body language, positive attitude and recent comments about his status. Deng holds a player option of approximately $10.15MM for next season.

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