Goran Dragic is thrilled that the Heat re-signed Dwyane Wade this offseason, but also notes that he would have returned to Miami regardless of Wade’s decision, as he said in a recent appearance on The Dan Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio (audio link), and as Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post transcribes. When Dragic was asked if he had been nervous about Wade returning, he said, “I was, a little bit. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I was back in Europe and I read all the media reports. In the end, I’m really glad we signed him.”
Dragic also noted that he didn’t speak with any other teams during the free agent signing period. “No, because Miami was the first team that called me,” Dragic said. “The last three months of last season, I was really satisfied with the organization and the people around me and the players. I was considering Miami the first option… Miami Heat is the right organization for me. I want to win something. I could go somewhere else, but I was really happy the last couple of months here. That was the right decision for me… Basically Miami Heat was the first option. Then they called me first. [Team president] Pat [Riley] was talking and saying what kind of team it was going to be… and I said I need to be on this wagon.”
Here’s more out of the NBA’s Southeast Division:
- Jeremy Lin said that the Hornets entered the picture late in the free agent process, but he added that the team appeared to be sincere in its presentation and plan for him, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer tweets. The point guard inked a two-year pact with the franchise last week.
- Charlotte’s signing of Lin using its biannual exception means that the Hornets have triggered the hard cap, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. If a team is hard-capped, it cannot exceed the tax apron under any circumstance. A team that has spent up to its hard cap can still ink players to non-guaranteed contracts for training camp or the regular season, but it must rid itself of such players before their salaries become guaranteed. The deal is worth the full value of the biannual exception, a total of $4,374,255 over two years, and it includes a player option, as Pincus shows on his Hornets salary page.
- Jared Dudley said that the Wizards were one of the teams he considered signing with before he opted in for 2015/16 with the Bucks, and he’s thrilled with the trade that sent him to Washington, The Associated Press relays. “I liked my situation in Milwaukee, but if they told me I was going to opt in and go to Washington, I would have opted in the first day because I can’t see a [situation] that’s better for me right now,” Dudley said.