It doesn’t appear Goran Dragic will be leaving Toronto anytime soon.
After the NBA’s free agency moratorium officially ended on Friday, the Raptors and Heat completed their previously reported sign-and-trade agreement. As part of that deal, Miami acquired Kyle Lowry, who signed a three-year, $85 million contract, and Toronto received Dragic and Precious Achiuwa.
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Multiple teams have expressed interest in Dragic, including the Mavericks because of the 35-year-old’s connection to fellow Slovenian guard Luka Doncic. However, the Raptors have not brought up buyout discussions with Dragic and “rebuffed trade overtures,” according to Marc Stein.
During his Friday media availability, Raptors general manager Bobby Webster confirmed that the front office currently has no plans to move the former All-Star.
“We entertained [a trade], and we were up front with Goran and his representatives. So I think it’s very transparent,” Webster said. “But we liked him from the start. Obviously if we got an offer that was too good to refuse, we’d listen, but ultimately we want Goran here. I think he’s happy to be here. . . . I think as a basketball player, and as a vet, he provides a lot of value for us.”
Webster also noted that there was no pushback from the new Raptors, telling reporters Dragic and Achiuwa are both “extremely excited” about joining the team.
Just 21 years old and heading into his second NBA season, Achiuwa is viewed as someone capable of developing with the core of Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam and No. 4 overall pick Scottie Barnes. He played limited minutes with the Heat last season, but he did flash strong potential, particularly on the defensive end.
Dragic, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to fit Toronto’s timeline. It’s possible the Raptors will start the 2021-22 season with Dragic on the roster, driving up his value before the trade deadline. That would allow them to ultimately maximize their return on the Lowry sign-and-trade deal.
For now, though, Dragic suitors will have to look elsewhere for backcourt help.