Zoran Dragic

Celtics waive Zoran Dragic, who plans to return to Europe

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Two weeks ago, the Heat traded Zoran Dragic (brother of Goran) to the Celtics along with a future second-round pick. The Heat wanted to save money, and the Celtics picked up an asset in the deal. Now, to the surprise of no one, the Celtics have waived the younger Dragic. They announced the move in a press release:

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have waived guard/forward Zoran Dragic.

Dragic, a 6’5” guard/forward, was originally acquired by the Celtics along with a future second round pick and cash considerations from the Miami Heat on July 27, 2015. He appeared in 16 games split between the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat during the 2014-15 season and averaged 1.8 points in 4.7 minutes per game over that span. He posted a season-high 22 points on 9-17 (.529) shooting from the field, three rebounds, two assists and two steals in 41 minutes of action against the Philadelphia 76ers on April 15, 2015.

ESPN.com’s Marc Stein tweets that Dragic plans to return to Europe, where he will be able to get more consistent minutes than he would have in the NBA:

When the Heat traded Zoran to the Celtics after maxing out Goran, it was the second move this summer that broke up a pair of brothers who had been teammates. But unlike the Morris twins, who by all accounts are extremely unhappy to be separated, all indications are that Goran is happy with this move. His brother wants a bigger role and more minutes, and he’ll get that overseas. Good for him.

Heat sign Josh Richardson

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Miami traded Shabazz Napier to the Magic and Zoran Dragic to the Celtics not only because the Heat wanted to reduce their luxury-tax bill, but because they wanted to clear roster spots.

One had clearly been reserved for Miami’s second-round pick, Josh Richardson.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

Josh Richardson — the 40th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft — has agreed to terms on a three-year, $2.5 million contract with the Miami Heat, league sources told RealGM.

Richardson’s deal is fully guaranteed for the first season and partially guaranteed the second year, sources said.

Richardson’s minimum salary over a three-year contract would be $2,414,475. Perhaps, he’s getting a little more than that. More likely, this report just contains generous rounding.

Even if Richardson is on a minimum contract, capped-out Miami had to use the taxpayer mid-level exception to sign him. The minimum-salary exception can be used on contracts just up to two years. This deal will give the Heat Richardson’s full Bird Rights if he completes it. Plus, Miami can make Richardson’s a restricted free agent in three years.

If Richardson got the minimum, the Heat would have $2,850,907 of the MLE remaining. The Heat could use that to add another veteran. They already have the regular-season limit of 15 players and are surely reluctant to increase their tax bill, but Tyler Johnson (partially guaranteed) and James Ennis (unguaranteed) could be waived. Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen are also on the block.

Richardson’s defense is ahead of his offense. The shooting guard out of Tennessee passes well for his position and has improved his shooting stroke. His plus athleticism makes it easier to bet on his development.

The Heat clearly found it important to keep him around.

Report: Heat will pay Zoran Dragic’s full salary, Celtics will waive him

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The Celtics were at the right place at the right time, getting the Heat’s 2020 second-round pick in exchange for taking Zoran Dragic and his $1,706,250 salary.

Turns out, the trade was even better for Boston than it appeared.

Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe:

Essentially, the Celtics got a 2020 second-rounder for nothing. They don’t even have to pay Dragic.

There’s even a very slight chance a team claims Dragic on waivers, and Boston could use its cash from Miami as pure profit.

Dragic would have cost the Heat more than his full salary in luxury-tax payments. So, it’s worth it for them to pay a team – in money and a draft pick – to take Dragic offer their hands.

Why did the Celtics still have that cap space?

They hadn’t yet officially completed the David Lee-Gerald Wallace trade. Order of transactions matters. If they had made the Golden State trade already, the Celtics wouldn’t have had space for Dragic. The Warriors, who stand to save a lot of money, didn’t mind waiting.

But with Boston’s cap space used, that trade is now official.

Celtics release:

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have acquired forward/center David Lee from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for forward Gerald Wallace and guard/forward Chris Babb.

Babb’s contract is unguaranteed. I expect the Warriors to release him, though the Celtics could have just done that themselves. Maybe Golden State will bring him to training camp.

Heat trade Zoran Dragic, second-rounder to Celtics

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First, the Morris twins.

Now, Goran Dragic and Zoran Dragic.

It’s not a good summer for NBA-teammate brothers sticking together.

Dan Le Batard of ESPN:

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

Ira Winderman of the South Florida SunSentinel:

The Heat are trying to trim their roster and luxury-tax bill – already trading Shabazz Napier and trying to dump Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen.

But I thought Zoran was relatively safe. The Heat acquired him with Goran in the trade with the Suns, making the brothers seem like a package deal. Plus, Goran did the Heat a solid by agreeing to less than a max salary this summer. After giving up two first-round picks for him, I can’t imagine Miami would have let him leave in free agency just months later – even if it meant paying a max deal.

Alas, Zoran is out, making it easier for the Heat to keep their second-round pick, Josh Richardson. The shooting guard out of Tennessee is a solid defender, good athlete, improved shooter and decent playmaker. He must round into form, but there are a lot of skills to like.

The Celtics might not even keep Zoran. Boston now has 17 players with guaranteed contracts, and Zoran ranks pretty low on the value list. But eating his $1,706,250 salary is no big deal for the Celtics. Unlike Miami, they don’t have to pay a luxury tax on that money. Most importantly to them, they get a draft pick for their troubles.

Chris Bosh returns to court four months after being sidelined with blood clots on his lung

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Chris Bosh was ruled out for the rest of the 2015 season by the Miami Heat back in February, after it was discovered he would need treatment for blood clots on his lung.

Four months later, Bosh has returned to the court.

From Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

Bosh has resumed court work for the first time since being sidelined at the February All-Star break due to blood clots on his lung, working Tuesday with coach Erik Spoelstra, assistant coach David Fizdale, among others.

Back from a recent vacation in South America, Bosh has joined others drilling at on the Heat’s practice court, including Shabazz Napier, James Ennis and Hassan Whiteside, with Zoran Dragic recently returning to also join the sessions. …

Bosh’s recent vacation including some hikes at altitude, but his latest work in the gym is believed to not yet involve contact work.

With blood thinners part of Bosh’s treatment, there has been caution with contact drilling.

Miami’s future — with or without Dwyane Wade — looks much brighter if it includes a healthy Chris Bosh.

A consistently underrated All-Star, Bosh improved his game this year when given the added responsibility of helping to carry the load on the offensive end of the floor once LeBron James was gone.

Over the first 44 games of the season, Bosh averaged 21.1 points and seven rebounds in 35.4 minutes per contest.