The Heat have big plans for the summer of 2021, chasing stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Victor Oladipo.
Miami could also have significant cap space this summer.
Could the Heat commit a sizable portion of their spending power to Goran Dragic, who has a $19,217,900 salary on an expiring contract?
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:
An associate of Dragic anticipates a large one-year offer from Miami this summer, potentially in the range of this season’s $19 million salary.
The big wrench in that plan: The salary cap could land far lower than projected due to the NBA’s coronavirus stoppage. All 2020 free agents, including Dragic, should expect reduced salaries relative to previous hopes.
From a team-building perspective, a lower cap could push Miami toward re-signing Dragic. If renouncing their free agents would create less cap space, the Heat have more incentive just to keep Dragic through his Bird Rights. That could also lead to Miami re-signing other free agents like Derrick Jones Jr., Jae Crowder (who wants to stay) and Meyers Leonard.
Still expect mostly one-year deals (with the younger Jones the most-likely exception). The Heat’s eyes for 2021 remain big. But consider this an indicator Miami is prioritizing continuity next season.
That said, will Dragic go along? He’ll turn 34 in May. At this age, he could seek a multi-year contract with greater total compensation. Of course, he’s not guaranteed to draw that offer in free agency.
So many variables remain – where the salary cap lands, how the Heat feel about their roster after the playoffs, which outside free agents show interest in Miami. But this at least appears to be a glimpse into the Heat’s plan before the hiatus.