Last season I considered Goran Dragic to be Miami’s best player. Without Dwyane Wade demanding the ball, he was finally able to increase the pace of Miami’s offense and run something similar to his time with the Suns. This worked for the Heat as Dragic was able to develop rapport with certain players, most evidently Dion Waiters and Wayne Ellington.
Last season, Dragic averaged 20.3 points, 5.8 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game. Keep in mind that in putting up these numbers, Dragic was often dealing with an injured Heat team. For various parts of the season Dragic had to operate as the primary scorer as well as the team’s facilitator on offense. Still, he was able to put these numbers up consistently.
With new and returning players in the mix, Dragic has a lot of new tools to work with. In terms of pick and pop potential, things open up with new Heat teammate Kelly Olynyk. Olynyk is a solid scorer who can finish and traffic and shoot long range shots pretty efficiently. During his four seasons in Boston, Olynyk shot about 37% from behind the arc. In Phoenix, the Suns scored a ton of points thanks to the Channing Frye pick and pop. The same type of opportunities could easily be replicated with Olynyk.
Also, Justise Winslow’s return creates many scoring opportunities in transition. Obviously, we still need to see how Winslow will be post injury, but the potential for him to be a scoring threat this season is huge. Additionally, if Josh Richardson is healed up 100% he provides great spacing and another threat from three point range.
Dragic is a savvy veteran. He’s stayed in playing shape all season with the Slovenian National Team and understands what it takes to win. With more scoring threats around him, he’ll only make better plays. A perfect storm is set for Dragic to not only replicate last season’s success, but improve upon it.