Heat Notes: Jones, Dragic, Free Agency, Draft

Whenever the 2019/20 season eventually ends and the ’20 offseason begins, Heat swingman Derrick Jones will become an unrestricted free agent. While Jones insists he hasn’t thought much about his free agency, he recently said that he’d like to remain in Miami for as long as possible, as Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel relays.

“I want to be here my whole career,” Jones said. “If I could have that and we could come to an agreement with the Heat, I’m with it. I just want to be here.”

Veteran point guard Goran Dragic, who is also facing unrestricted free agency this year, expressed a similar sentiment, admitting that he’s barely thought about his contract status amid the coronavirus pandemic, but suggesting that a return to the Heat would be a good outcome, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

“We like it here,” Dragic said of Miami. “It has been fun. It’s a nice place to live, the kids are going to school here. So definitely this would be one of the options to be high on our list. Like I said, you don’t know what the future holds, how the talks are going to go and we’ll see. But I’m confident that we’re going to choose the best situation for our family.”

While the Heat would presumably like to retain both Jones and Dragic, they also want to keep enough cap flexibility to potentially make a run at a top free agent like Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2021. Additionally, the Bulls are reportedly keeping a close eye on both Jones and Dragic, so they – or another team – might try to make a play for one or both.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Andre Fernandez and John Hollinger of The Athletic take an in-depth look at potential next steps for the Heat, with Hollinger suggesting that a forward/center who can shoot – and who would be open to a lucrative one-year deal – might be the most logical target for the club this offseason. Hollinger identifies Danilo Gallinari, Paul Millsap, Marcus Morris, and Serge Ibaka as some possible candidates.
  • If the NBA’s hiatus results in a reduced luxury-tax threshold for 2020/21, that could be problematic for the Heat, especially if they want to re-sign several of their own free agents, including Dragic, Jones, Jae Crowder, and Meyers Leonard, as Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald explains.
  • Based on the current NBA standings, the Heat will hold the No. 23 pick in the draft, which figures to present the team with a plethora of options, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. “What I’ve heard is the pick at 23 or 22 is the same pick at 35,” one NBA scout told Winderman. “It’s top heavy. It’s a bad draft. There’s a gray range once you get past the number up there in the early teens.”
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