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More on Goran Dragic Trade?

The Miami Heat are willing to part with Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow as centerpieces for an Irving trade, league sources said. With the Cleveland-Miami history, there's little chance for a deal unless the Heat offered an overwhelming package. Gilbert may have unwittingly thrust pressure onto Altman in a Wednesday news conference, declaring "Indiana could've done better" in its trade package for Paul George. The Cavaliers have more leverage in a deal because Irving has two years on his contract to George's one.
One source said that the Heat’s willingness to sell off pieces such as Dragic and center Hassan Whiteside was overblown in the media to begin with, though, and that the Heat were more likely to ride out the season and re-evaluate offers for Dragic and Whiteside — who just signed a four-year, $98 million deal last summer — in the offseason.
After hearing his name mentioned in trade rumors previously as a member of the Phoenix Suns, and earlier this season in trade talks with Rudy Gay, as Basketball Insiders previously reported, Dragic changed the way he views the trade deadline. "Maybe in the past, a few years ago, I was really into it," Dragic told Basketball Insiders in late January. "I was really nervous all the time. I was reading articles. When I got traded the first time it kind of changed me because then I realized this is normal, this is part of the business. Now I'm not even paying attention about that, I'm only focused on basketball, because it can mess your head up if you're not mentally strong. I don't want to read those or even hear those rumors. I just want to do my job."
However, while approaching 31 in May, Dragic never lost faith in Miami's management to quickly rebuild going forward. "I feel good confidence, great, because first of all, I trust completely the front office," Dragic told Basketball Insiders. "Pat Riley, and Andy [Elisburg] and Mickey Arison's family, they know what they're doing. They've already proven that in the past, and I'm not worried about the future because we have a lot of good, young players who are developing their game in the right directions. It's going to be an interesting summer for us, but I feel fully comfortable that we're going to bounce back quick."
Even with the losing record and swirl of trade rumors, it is a role the 30-year-old Slovenian has embraced. "If I'm honest," he said, "I feel even better here than in Phoenix. I like all my teammates. I feel like I'm in the right spot. My head is clear and I'm working hard to be a better player, a better teammate. Hopefully I can contribute even more, be a big help."
“If I’m honest, I feel even better here than in Phoenix,” Dragic said late Thursday night, after scoring 32 points in a 99-95 win against Dallas. “I like all my teammates. I feel like I’m in the right spot. My head is clear; I’m working hard to be a better player and teammate. I feel awesome. I feel like I have three aspects: midrange, threes and driving. It makes my job a lot easier than before.”
Dragic very much hopes to stay with the Heat longterm. “I feel really good here,” said Dragic, in the second year of a five-year, $85 million contract. “I feel like I’m in the right spot. The city is awesome, the fans are great, the organization is the top organization in the league. My family, they’re feeling amazing, they love the city. Of course I want to stay here.”
The South Beachers continue to leave the impression that they're resistant to surrendering Dragic before the Feb. 23 trade deadline.
Flipping Dragic for future assets was their most obvious path to the bottom, but Miami's injury situation has gotten so ugly, they don't even have to do that! They're 11-29, ahead of only the Nets. Teams will express interest in Dragic ahead of the trade deadline -- a bunch, including the Magic, already did, per league sources -- but Miami can hold out for a hefty return. They gave up a ton for Dragic, and they'd need to save face in any teardown trade.
"They could get a great draft pick," the scout, who required anonymity as he spoke about another's team's player under contract, said. "I think you can get a first and, I don't know when, something else in the draft. Are you going to get the fifth pick in the draft? No. I'm not sure about multiple firsts. I think the second one would have to be stretched long into the future. But I think you can get a first and a second. You certainly could get, at minimum, a first."
The skepticism of the Eastern Conference scout was not about Dragic, even with the Heat's losing record, but the perception that has received so much national discourse, of the need for the Heat to move on. "They have two players on that team, and he's one of them," the scout said of Hassan Whiteside and Dragic. "I mean, starting point guard this is the hardest position to fill. On some teams, he might be the difference maker."
"I feel comfortable in Miami. I feel great," he said. "We have a young team. I really got connected with the young guys, and I feel young, too, with them, and I would like to stay here." When initially informed of the trade speculation after Thursday night's victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at AmericanAirlines Arena, Dragic told a group of reporters that included the Sun Sentinel, "I totally deny that. That's not true." He then followed with an expletive that has since appeared on social media.
"The truth is I didn't even know that the report came out," he said. "So that was the first time that I heard about that. I feel bad because I reacted like that. But it's just those things that, if that came from me, then I would understand. But if it's a lie . . ."
Having been dealt twice in his career, Dragic said he understands the business aspect of the NBA. What he does not understand is being cast as a player looking for a way out. "It's kind of bothering me, but I understand this is part of the business," he said. "So that's why I'm calm, because I know how I can silence those rumors."
The 6-foot-3 point guard has played some of his best ball in recent weeks, comfortable that Heat President Pat Riley and owner Micky Arison are committed to a turnaround. "That's why I signed with this team," he said. "If I didn't think like that, I would never have signed. I understand it's part of the business, but I have great confidence in this organization, in Pat, in Micky, in all of those guys, because the history speaks for itself."
But I would be surprised if he’s moved in the immediate future and he might not be moved at all. (It all depends on what the Heat gets in return; I very much doubt it would be a straight cap-clearing salary dump without Miami getting a lottery pick back or something of real value.) And from conversations with Dragic, I do NOT believe he wants a trade. He seems to genuinely like it here and prefers not to move his family again.
Dragic is a dilemma. When Dragic forced a trade to Miami two years ago, he thought he was joining a team one piece away — him — from being a conference contender. Today he’s leading a roster that’s a couple of losses from falling below Philadelphia in the East basement. Dragic is open to a trade, league sources told The Vertical, and Miami has pursued that option. An early season swap with Sacramento for Rudy Gay fell apart when the Heat sought Darren Collison, sources said, and teams that have probed Miami about Dragic have found the Heat open to offers.
Miami’s Goran Dragic continues to surface as possibly the biggest fish to be had, but sources with the HEAT continue to say they are not ready to blow the team up; until that happens, Goran is not on the market. The prevailing belief outside of Miami is at the deadline, the HEAT will explore Dragic’s trade value in an effort to remove his salary from their books for a run through free agency this summer when Chris Bosh’s deal is expected to be off the books as well.
Why trading Dragic might not make a lot of sense for the Heat? His 2019-20 season salary makes him awfully affordable and cap friendly. This season, Dragic is earning the eighth-highest salary in the league among point guards at $15.89 million. Only Memphis’ Mike Conley ($26.5 million), Harden ($26.5), Westbrook ($26.5), Portland’s Damian Lillard ($24.3M), the Clippers’ Chris Paul ($22.8), New York’s Derrick Rose ($21.3) and Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving ($17.6) earn more.
Miami’s Goran Dragic continues to surface as possibly the biggest fish to be had, but sources with the HEAT continue to say they are not ready to blow the team up; until that happens, Goran is not on the market. The prevailing belief outside of Miami is at the deadline, the HEAT will explore Dragic’s trade value in an effort to remove his salary from their books for a run through free agency this summer when Chris Bosh’s deal is expected to be off the books as well. Miami has kept no secret that they are rebuilding and would like to get a few more draft picks. HEAT sources said recently that keeping Dragic as the veteran leader wouldn’t be a bad thing, but conceded he might return a ton of value, which lines up with the league belief that the HEAT would explore moving him at or around the deadline.
"Rumors will always be there," Dragic tells Bleacher Report. "It's not the first time I've been mentioned in them. The only thing that I can control is preparing myself to do my job on the floor and at practice and try to be as solid as possible."
The Miami Heat aren't actively trying to trade ‎point guard Goran Dragic. We know this because if they were, it wouldn't take the Heat long to find a taker. Around the league, though, there's a growing sense that Dragic is a name to keep tabs on for those of you (and, yes, we mean everyone) who enjoy the sport unto itself known as NBA Wheeling & Dealing, since Miami is a team rival executives are watching closely.
Don't be surprised if the Heat decide to make Dragic available if they get off to a slow start with a roster that suddenly no longer features Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh. ‎It should be noted that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is an immense Dragic fan who A) went to the 30-year-old's native Slovenia in the summer to personally check up on him during EuroBasket qualifying.
Spoelstra assured Dragic this week that a recent report suggesting Miami was actively discussing a deal to send him to Sacramento for Rudy Gay and Darren Collison was inaccurate.‎ Yet one suspects this one is bound to keep coming up, partly because whispers persist that Gay would love to land in Miami ... but also because it's no secret Sacramento is on the hunt for a first-rate quarterback.
Dragic said he appreciated the fact Spoelstra came to him before Thursday’s game in Charlotte to tell him there was nothing to the trade rumors involving him and Sacramento’s Rudy Gay. “I’m glad he did,” Dragic said. “I told him I appreciate it. My brother, my family and friends were calling. It’s something less to worry about before the season starts.”
Sources say that the Heat naturally would have been prepared to surrender Dragic during the summer as part of a grander package to try to pry Russell Westbrook away from Oklahoma City, back when teams -- with fingers glued together -- were hopeful that the Thunder might be willing to trade Westbrook right after Kevin Durant defected to Golden State.
Asked what he would think the next time that he is mentioned in a rumor if Spoelstra would not offer the same type of denial, Dragic smiled, instead grateful for Thursday's gesture. "That was really nice from Spo," Dragic said. "That's not his job to come to the players to say it, so I understand." Dragic said he appreciated that there will be times when management and the coaching staff might not be able to be as forthcoming. "This is business," he said, "so I have no problem with that."
Barry Jackson: Heat not pursuing trade with Gay/Dragic at this time, but might pursue Gay in 2017 free agency as secondary option. - RT: Alex Kennedy: While trying to defuse trade rumors, Rudy Gay said, "I have no choice but to work for the Sacramento Kings." Quotes like that don't defuse!
Manny Navarro: Goran Dragic says he understands why #Heat may look to trade if team struggles. "It's part of the business. It's on us to be the best we can."
“Sacramento has to trade Gay,” an Eastern Conference executive told Basketball Insiders. “He’s already informed them he doesn’t like it there. They can’t let him walk for nothing.” Gay can become an unrestricted free agent after this season since he has a $14,263,566 player option for next season. With that in mind, sources indicated that the Kings are ideally looking for a starting-caliber point guard in any trade proposal involving Gay.
At this time, Sacramento and Miami are kicking the tires on the potential trade. The trade, as it has been discussed, has various benefits for both teams should it ultimately happen.
But he made clear, in an emphatic tone Friday, that he has no such issues with the Heat, even with Wade gone and Bosh away from the team, now working with a more youthful, untested roster that features 10 new players this preseason. "It's not even close," he said. "I'm happy here. This is the team that I want to be part of. And I feel great. I feel comfortable. We are building something here that is totally new, but I have a lot of confidence that we're going to succeed, because we have a lot of young talent that is working hard. I feel awesome."
"He asked me that question: Didn't I sign to be part of a great team, championship team? I said, 'Yeah, of course.' Then I said sometimes your career, this is business, you cannot have every decision go the way you want it on your own. This is a team decision. Sometimes you need to do two steps back to go one step forward. I'm happy to be here. This is the team that I want to be here. But I understand this is business."
Dragic said he was surprised how his words were misconstrued across social media, including some posts in his native Slovenia tongue. "I don't have any comments about not wanting to be here," he said. "That is nonsense."
The Heat want to see what this feisty group can do, but if they struggle early, history suggests Miami will not be afraid to plummet down the standings. The easiest method: trade Goran Dragic without receiving a point guard, leaving the offense in the hands of (mostly) unproven ball-handlers. The Heat and Kings have had some vague trade talks since July -- not necessarily involving Dragic, sources say -- and given the Kings' shaky point guard situation, it's tempting to build deals sending Dragic to Sacramento. A half-dozen other teams are searching for a long-term answer at point guard.
“You know, I look at it this way,” guard Goran Dragic said. “I did not have control over that. I cannot have it. So the only thing I can control is on myself, to be prepared for this season. Of course, the offseason went the way it went. But I’m happy with my teammates. I think we had a great training camp. Some changes, but we’re a young team that wants to prove to the league that we can play basketball.” True. But Dragic did not come from the Phoenix Suns two years ago via trade to not play with Wade and Bosh. He did not sign a $90 million extension last year to not be on a championship contender. This is not what he signed up for. “You’re right,” he said. “But the main thing is, I want to win games. Of course, I want to win the championship. But, how you say: you need to go one step back to go two steps forward.”
Any thought to the Heat trading Goran Dragic this summer and bidding for free agent Mike Conley has been cast aside because of Dragic’s recent play. “We love Goran,” Pat Riley said last week. “Now he's playing like The Dragon. His game has opened up. I'm very happy that we have this point guard.”
At last month’s trade deadline, for example, the Heat were not actively shopping point guard Goran Dragic — acquired in a trade last year and signed to a max deal last summer — but a source said Miami was, “certainly feeling out his value.” Expect Dragic trades to be explored this summer. Before the season, there was excitement about the notion of Dragic and Bosh working the pick-and-roll together, but with Bosh’s future in question, the Heat must consider what to do with Dragic, whose shooting struggles (31.0 percent from the 3-point line) have been an issue.
Storyline: Goran Dragic Trade?
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August 14, 2022 | 3:06 am EDT Update

Kevin Durant holding out of training camp?

Brian Windhorst spent much of his Friday episode of “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective” podcast talking about Durant’s situation. Windhorst said he felt the Nets won the recent showdown between Durant and team owner Joe Tsai. But Windy doesn’t necessarily think that means all is over between the sides. In fact, Windhorst says he now could see a world where Durant holds out of training camp. “A week ago, if you had asked me, ‘Will Kevin Durant hold out of training camp if he is not traded?’ I would have been like, ‘eh, I can’t see it.’ Now I can see it. That is what we are headed towards,” Windhorst said.
Longtime basketball writer Marc Stein reported on Saturday that a matchup between the Grizzlies and the rival Golden State Warriors is on the NBA’s preliminary schedule for the 2022-23 season. Morant, the Memphis star, responded to the news with some trash talk for Warriors counterpart Draymond Green. “we got what we wanted dray. @Money23Green,” Morant tweeted along with a photo of a heated moment he had on the court with Green last year. Green was actually fairly muted and deferential in his response to Morant, tweeting back, “That’s the power of your voice Young! Let’s gooooo! Bring the fam to the crib for dinner after.”
The lawsuit says that by sharing the photos, those involved — including the deputy at the bar and firefighters weeks later at an awards banquet — violated the victims’ families’ constitutional rights to control images of their loved ones’ remains. “Mrs. Bryant feels ill at the thought of strangers gawking at images of her deceased husband and child, and she lives in fear that she or her children will one day confront horrific images of their loved ones online,” Bryant’s lawyers wrote in a complaint. “Many social media users have claimed to have seen photos of the victims’ remains, and their accounts are plausible given the number of deputies who took photos, the ease with which cellphone pictures are transmitted and saved in cloud storage, and the Sheriff’s Department’s egregious failure to take reasonable steps to prevent dissemination of the photos.”
Storyline: Vanessa Bryant Lawsuit
Surveillance video inside the bar showing Cruz and Gutierrez interacting and appearing to look at Cruz’s cellphone together played throughout his testimony. At times, it appeared that Cruz and Gutierrez were smiling and laughing after viewing the photos — but Gutierrez disputed that interpretation. “What type of human being would laugh at photos of other human beings like that?” he said. Bryant, sitting in the courtroom, repeatedly wiped away tears and, at times, held her head in her hands. At one point, while Gutierrez testified about the photos, she asked the judge for permission to leave the courtroom. She stood up and walked out, wiping tears from her eyes. The trial is expected to last at least another week, with 52 total witnesses slated to appear. Villanueva and Bryant are among those scheduled to testify.
August 13, 2022 | 9:32 pm EDT Update