Report: Heat still considered the frontrunners to re-sign Goran Dragic, but he wants them to play faster


The Heat gave up two future first-round picks to land Goran Dragic at the trade deadline, and in order to keep him, they’re likely going to have to offer a max deal. Dragic has a $7.5 million player option for next season that he’s all but guaranteed to pass up to test free agency, and according to the latest reports, Miami is still considered the favorites to keep him — but he wants them to play faster.

From Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:

Heat guard Goran Dragic, an impending free agent, feels strongly that the Heat must play faster and has been assured that’s a key part of the Pat Riley/Erik Spoelstra master plan, according to an an associate.

We’re told Dragic very much likes Spoelstra and Riley and nothing to this point has changed regarding the Heat’s status as front-runners to keep him. The Lakers, Knicks, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Sacramento are all expected to have interest.

Dragic is going to have no shortage of suitors in free agency, that much is certain. But the Heat have a major incentive to keep him, considering how much they gave up in the trade to acquire him in the first place. They haven’t had a chance to play much with a fully healthy lineup, and a starting five of Dragic, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside could be dangerous. If the Heat offer him a five-year, $100 million deal, it will be hard for him to pass up.