Goran Dragic was traded to the Heat as part of a slew of deadline day deals, and while Miami was reportedly on the list of destinations he’ll consider signing long term as a free agent this summer, he may currently view Los Angeles as a more interesting option.
The Lakers expressed a “ton” of interest in guard Goran Dragic, according to an NBA source familiar with the situation. But the Lakers “just didn’t have assets,” the league source said. Instead, the Phoenix Suns traded Dragic and his brother, Zoran, to the Miami Heat for Danny Granger, Justin Hamilton and two first-round picks. …
A person familiar with Dragic’s thinking said he “loves the opportunity” to join the Lakers and sees them as a “perfect fit” when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. But the Heat can sign Dragic a five-year deal worth up to $100 million, while other teams can offer up to a four-year deal worth $80 million.
The part about the Heat having that extra contract year to offer is true, but it means less than ever before. More and more players are choosing to sign shorter deals now, in exchange for bigger paydays once the salary cap spikes (thanks to the league’s lucrative new broadcast rights deal) in advance of the 2016-17 season.
The Lakers are at the point where they’ll have to overpay a bit to get a free agent to come. Dragic is a borderline All-Star and a terrific attacking point guard, but a four-year deal worth $80 million may scare most suitors away. The Knicks may come with that type of offer, too, but the only thing that’s clear now is that Dragic will have no shortage of free agent options.