With the Miami Heat miles outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture, you probably think they’ll be sellers at the trade deadline.
That feeling also probably intensified once word came that Justise Winslow would miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury. And your first instinct was to then probably envision Goran Dragic in another jersey.
Alas, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, the Heat aren’t there yet:
Given this week’s loss of Justise Winslow for the season, on top of the ongoing unavailability of Chris Bosh, Miami would seem to have more motivation than ever to fully embrace The Tank and start shopping Goran Dragic.
Miami’s price for acquiring Dragic, however, is still said to be too high to encourage any serious trade discussions.
The Heat, make no mistake, will probably reach the point where they are willing to move Dragic. They are 8.5 games back of the Eastern Conference’s No. 8 seed, their offense isn’t particularly efficient, and the defense just suffered a huge blow with the loss of Winslow.
But an increased willingness to trade Dragic won’t lead them to drive down their asking price by ridiculous margins. The point guard is on the wrong side of 30, but he is signed through 2018-19, with a player option for 2019-20, on a deal that was hammered out before the salary cap explosion.
Mix in that no one else in the league his matching his assist and three-point percentage, according to Basketball-Reference, and the Heat have a ton of leverage. They also have a need to bring back a substantial package in return; Dragic cost two first-round picks, and trading him for anything less, particularly when he isn’t on the verge of exploring free agency, would be a disaster.