DECEMBER 23, 1:58pm: Asked about the report that he’s open to being moved, Dragic told reporters that it didn’t come from him, and that it’s not true (video link).
DECEMBER 22, 4:00pm: Rival teams have called the Heat about Goran Dragic‘s availability and found that Miami is open to dealing the point guard, sources tell Chris Mannix of The Vertical. Mannix adds that Dragic is also open to being moved. Minnesota is a team to keep an eye on regarding a potential Dragic trade, Zach Lowe of ESPN.com speculates in his latest podcast.
Two seasons ago, the Heat acquired Dragic believing that he was the missing piece needed in order to compete with the Cavs for the Eastern Conference crown. Since then, the team lost Chris Bosh because of his health issues and it lost Dwyane Wade to the Bulls in free agency, which left Dragic to lead a roster of young, unproven players. Mannix argues that if the Heat are going to rebuild around their young core, the team would be better off trading the point guard.
Earlier in the week, Pat Riley said that any rebuild would happen quickly. “We’ve [rebuilt] twice, first with the addition of Shaq back in 2005, then again in 2008,” Riley said. “And we’re in it again. In this league, you need flexibility. And we have that, so we’re able to make a move quickly. We’ve rebuilt before and we’re going to do it again quickly.”
The Heat, owning a record of 9-20, are in the midst of a disappointing campaign, though Dragic has been a bright spot for them. He’s averaging 19.1 points and 6.7 assists per game while shooting 41.6% from behind the arc. He owns a player efficiency rating of 18.2, which is well above the league average of 15.0.