At this point in Heat history, Miami is in an interesting predicament. Currently, the Heat remain somewhat competitive having lost approximately ten games by only single digits, but boast a less than impressive 10 - 21 record. As a result, fans have grown impatient based on Miami’s previous successes and trade talks have become a regular occurrence, lately they involve Goran Dragić.
This obviously isn’t the first time Dragić’s name has been thrown around the rumor mill. Let’s face it, Dragić seems to be getting traded every other week at this point. However, there’s no denying what a trade might bring to Miami if he continues to build his trade value, and he’s doing a great job of that. Miami shouldn’t trade Dragić, not because he can’t fetch them return value, and not because he’s on a great contract, but because right now he’s their best player.
Dragić struggled to coexist with Wade in Miami and as a result averaged mediocre statistics, especially when compared to his All-NBA play in Phoenix. While he did have his moments (especially in the playoffs) Dragić just couldn’t stay consistent. Nevertheless, with Wade now in Chicago and the Heat without a featured scorer, Dragić has proven that he’s more than capable of leading this Miami Heat team. This season Dragić is averaging 19 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds per game while shooting 45% from the field.
Though his statistics are very good, they don’t capture how significant Dragić is for the Heat while the game is in progress. Without a go to scorer in Dwyane Wade, the Heat have had a serious problem with scoring droughts. It’s Dragić who has stepped up and kept Miami in games and done so on a consistent basis. Other players, like Hassan Whiteside, while putting up amazing stats lately have gone through stretches where they’ve been less than stellar. Dragić on the other hand has managed to avoid those stretches thus far. Over the last five games Dragić has averaged 23 points and it’s not uncommon to see him seemingly will Miami back into games.
Analyzing how Dragić played against New Orleans make multiple things evident:
Firstly, Dragić played through back spasms in this game, so being able to score 23 points in a close loss is an accomplishment in itself. As per the footage above, it’s obvious that Dragić thrives in a fast “showtime” type offense and playing with younger players is creating a great deal of scoring opportunities for the point guard. Additionally, Dragić’s spacing and decision making are unparalleled, he can make a pick and pop work with virtually any player (in this case Derrick Williams) and shoots high percentage looks. His chemistry with teammates is obvious and he works for Miami as a true scoring point guard.
Goran Dragić is incredibly unique, he’s a scorer, facilitator and one of the toughest players in the league. His finishing ability is extraordinary and that coupled with his court vision make him Miami’s greatest offensive threat. Dragić has learned under the tutelage of Steve Nash and his experience playing for various teams have made him a quality leader. While the Heat want to continue building around their young core, the best option is for them to stick with Dragić as point guard. At this moment in time neither Tyler Johnson, nor Josh Richardson (though capable shooting guards) would make effective point guards.
As the Heat enter this “quick” rebuild it makes sense for them to seek an additional scorer, but it still doesn’t make sense to trade Dragić. Presently, “The Dragon” wants to be in Miami, and has been vocal regarding trade talks, it’s time for the Heat to listen.