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Goran Dragic opts into $19.2 million final season on Heat contract

Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Basketball

While Thursday's decision clears some of the conjecture about Dragic's short-term status, the Heat still are expected to attempt to maximize salary-cap space for the 2020 or 2021 offseasons.

That likely will have Dragic back in free agency during the 2020 offseason for the first time since he re-signed with the Heat in 2015.

"I'm just focused on the year coming," Dragic said shortly after the Heat failed to make the playoffs. "So if I'm thinking what's going to happen in three, four, five years, that's never going to be good. So my only focus is on the present and try to get my body right and have a good season. And then after, we're going to see what going to happen."

Despite his limited action this past season, Dragic led the Heat in scoring 10 times and in assists 13 times. The highlight of his 2018-19 season came on March 28 against the Dallas Mavericks and fellow Slovenian national-team member Luka Doncic, when he became the second Heat point guard to record a triple-double, joining Rory Sparrow.

He stressed at season's end that he does not see the knee as an issue going forward.

"The knee's fine," he said. "Everything after the surgery, everything looked fine. The only thing I have to do is try to make it stronger. And that's on me. The doctor checked me and everything was fine. And I've got all my work on what I need to do to completely be back 100 percent."

 

Unlike previous years when he returned to Slovenia to work with the national team, Dragic has retired from international competition, with Slovenia having failed to qualify for this summer's World Cup.

(c)2019 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

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