Goran Dragic will forever be linked to LeBron James in the minds of Miami Heat fans. And that's likely not a positive thing. The Heat acquired Dragic from the Phoenix Suns in 2015 as part of an effort to quickly pick up the pieces, pivot, and recalibrate following LeBron's departure for the Cavaliers. Unfortunately, Dragic's time in Miami has flown a bit under the radar and thus been extremely underappreciated.
Dragic was a consolation prize when he came to Miami, the best of a slew of unsexy options. More bluntly, the Serb guard was the Heat's rebound from a relationship they wanted to continue. He was fine at the time, but once you taste the top-shelf stuff, it's hard to go back to
Regardless of how or why it happened, Dragic and Miami got together. Both were coming off bad breakups. Both needed a fresh start. And since that day in February 2015 when Miami traded two first-round picks to the Suns for Dragic, he has delivered on everything fans expected.
Recently, Dragic passed the 10,000 career point threshold, a huge accomplishment. Even more impressive: He's likely to crack the top ten of all-time Miami Heat scorers this season, just his fifth with the team, and has a chance to surpass some serious household Heat names before he's done.
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In addition to likely retiring in the top seven of all-time Heat scorers, Dragic is a shoo-in to land near the top of the Heat all-time assists list. Dragic currently sits sixth on that list, roughly an average season-or-so worth of assists away from passing Bimbo Coles and LeBron James. If Dragic were to extend beyond the 2020 season, when his current contract runs out, he'd likely reach the top three.
To recap: Goran Dragic is sort of a big deal. His name is in the Heat's record books and stuff. There may not be any championship banners hanging in the American Airlines Arena that coincide with his Heat tenure, but that doesn't mean he hasn't had one hell of a career here.
Dragic has been the one constant in Miami since LeBron left. He was supposed to pair with Chris Bosh and make Miami great again. Then Bosh got blood clots and was forced to retire. Dragic was expected to play with Dwyane Wade, and he did until Wade left for Chicago and Cleveland. Through it all, Dragic has remained calm, steady, and dependable. Just as promised. Just as Miami has needed.
It's time to appreciate everything Goran Dragic has brought to the Heat. Who knows where Miami would have been without him?