Goran Dragic signed a five-year deal worth $90 million to stay with the Heat last summer, but he couldn’t possibly have predicted the events of this past offseason.
Chris Bosh was unceremoniously sent packing by team president Pat Riley after failing another physical, and Dwyane Wade chose to sign with the Bulls after contentious contract talks for a second consecutive summer.
Miami is great and all, but Dragic signed there because he believed the team would be a perennial contender in the East. And in an interview with NBA.com’s David Aldridge, he admitted that the current situation isn’t the one he intended to choose.
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Dragic did not come from the Phoenix Suns two years ago via trade to not play with Wade and Bosh. He did not sign a $90 million extension last year to not be on a championship contender. This is not what he signed up for.
“You’re right,” he said. “But the main thing is, I want to win games. Of course, I want to win the championship. But, how you say: you need to go one step back to go two steps forward.”
The Heat now find themselves in the middle of a youth movement, with guys like Hassan Whiteside, Justise Winslow and Tyler Johnson appearing in the starting lineup. Dragic may have envisioned contending for the foreseeable future, but it’s clear he’ll have to wait at least a year or two before Riley can make that a reality in Miami once again.