Heat Re-Sign Goran Dragic

JULY 9TH, 10:43am: The deal is official, the team announced.

“When we traded for Goran last season, we knew he was the type of player and person that we wanted to be part of our HEAT culture,” team president Pat Riley said in a statement. “His pace, ability and vision for the game is the perfect complement to lead our team as we look to bring another championship to Miami. We are pleased he has re-signed and will wear the HEAT uniform for years to come and make Miami his home.”

3:57pm: Riley confirmed that the Heat intends to sign Dragic in a statement the team released. A formal signing can’t take place until July 9th, the day after the July Moratorium.

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

JULY 1ST, 8:44am: The Heat and Goran Dragic have agreement on a five-year, $90MM deal, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). It’ll have a player option on the final season, Stein adds (on Twitter). That’s less than an estimated $108MM max, notes Grantland’s Zach Lowe (Twitter link). Reports in recent weeks indicated that Miami was offering between $80-100MM, though the expectation had previously been that the Heat would offer the max.

Miami has appeared a strong front-runner for the client of Rade Filipovich and Bill Duffy since the Heat gave up two first-round picks in a deal to acquire him at the deadline this year, as Dragic expressed his affection for the Heat and the city of Miami. He nonetheless saw the Lakers as a perfect fit, too. and the Knicks, Pelicans, Kings and Bucks were reportedly likely suitors. Dragic was apparently more likely to leave the Heat if Dwyane Wade bolted, but it appears as though the 29-year-old Slovenian made his decision before his backcourt partner did.

The Heat already had $53MM on the books for next season, so Dragic’s return and a new deal at market value for Wade would likely send the team zooming into tax territory unless it clears salary via trade. Heat president Pat Riley denied that the Heat are shopping Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen with the idea of doing just that.

The deal is a windfall for Dragic, who made just $7.5MM this past season and less than $23MM during his first six years in the league, according to Basketball Insiders and Basketball-Reference data. Still, it will look like less of an investment from Miami’s standpoint once the salary cap skyrockets, as expected, in the next few years, as Arthur Hill of Hoops Rumors pointed out when he examined Dragic’s free agent stock.

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