ESPN’s Marc Stein reported this weekend that two well-paid players on Miami’s roster this year could find themselves sporting different jerseys in about a month — Chris Bosh and Goran Dragic.
As I’ve mentioned before, Stein reiterated that the Heat will likely wait until after March 1 to waive Bosh, so he is not eligible to appear in the playoffs for any team that signs him. Stein said that the Chicago Bulls “will be at the front of the line to try to sign him.”
Could we see Bosh reunite with Dwyane Wade? Assuming Miami waives Bosh after March 1, the only reason for any team to sign Bosh would be to help their playoff positioning as the regular season winds down. And for Bosh, it would represent a chance to play basketball at a professional level after his second bout with blood clots. Chicago is currently a game below .500 and holding the eighth spot in the East. The Bulls may have good reason to stand at the front of the line to sign Bosh. Of course, when the two-time champion passes his physical after signing with Chicago is another question entirely.
Stein also said that Orlando recently tried to engage Miami in a deal that would send Nikola Vucevic and a first-round pick to the Heat in exchange for Dragic. Miami had no interest in the Magic’s pick and “are resistant to surrendering Dragic before the Feb. 23 deadline,” according to Stein.
The Heat’s disinterest in Orlando’s offer makes sense. Why have Vucevic when Hassan Whiteside is already on the roster? And Dragic has hit his stride recently for a team that has just won their third-straight game for the first time this season.
Goran Dragic is averaging 21.9 points on 52.6 percent shooting over his past nine games.— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) January 22, 2017
But even if the Heat can play out the rest of the season at a respectable level, they are 14-30 currently. Pat Riley has admitted the Heat are rebuilding, even if he said he’ll do it quickly. The Heat should continue to develop their young core, and Dragic could give the Heat an asset in the form of a draft pick -- as Orlando was apparently willing to offer.
Miami bought Dragic in February 2015 with the hopes that him joining with Wade and Bosh would put the Heat back in playoff contention. Now Dragic appears to be the steadying hand for a rebuilding young team that has struggled with injuries this year. He may stick with the Heat past the Feb. 23 trade deadline, but perhaps not much longer if Riley will complete his rebuild quickly.