Will's Heat Beat: Does Dragic make sense?
Miami considers move for guard
MIAMI – A trade deadline is quickly approaching on Thursday, and the Heat remain in the middle of rumors, in particular, the talk surrounding Suns guard Goran Dragic.
On the surface, it seems like a great move. Acquire help at the position you have the most need. In this case, at point guard. No one is denying that Dragic would be a huge upgrade to Miami's backcourt. But, at what cost?
Credible reports have surfaced from Yahoo! and others that to get Dragic it would mean giving up Luol Deng to Phoenix. The deal sounds fair enough, but what other pieces would fall into place once that happens? And does Pat Riley really believe Dragic is a future cog for Heat teams?
Let's start with what comes with Dragic. You're getting a proven point guard who has also shown the ability to play the two-position, but that won't be his role in Miami. For the Heat he would strictly be the guy directing the offense.
He's shown the ability to do that and do it well. Dragic had a breakout season with the Suns last year and he's in his prime years in his late 20's. You don't have to worry about a guy who's too young or inexperienced. He can come right in and handle the role.
But, he's also set to become a free agent and will want big money. That takes me back to my questions about his role for the future. If Riley makes this trade it's obvious he thinks Dragic will be the point guard for the foreseeable future in Miami. It would also change what the so-called summer of 2016 would look like.
Yet, if he does make this trade, we shouldn't be too surprised. Riley recently said that maybe people were putting too much focus on how impactful the 2016 offseason could really be. He also made it clear that he would make a move in advance of that, if he felt it was a star player. Is Dragic that player? That's debatable.
Dragic would fill a need but would also leave an obvious void. Heat fans can say all they want about what Luol Deng isn't, but sometimes we tend to get what he is; the most consistent defender on a team that's been pretty bad defensively. Yes, the emergence of Hassan Whiteside changes the look of Miami's defense, but that doesn't change the fact that Deng is expected to cover some of the best players on the opposing team. While his offense has been inconsistent, Deng's defense has been as solid as can be. Does the addition of Dragic outweigh the loss of Deng's defense?
The upgrade from the Heat's current point guards to Dragic would be significant, but I'm not too sure the downgrade from Deng to a combination of Danny Granger and James Ennis wouldn't be as significant.
At this point, I don't blame the Heat for considering the trade, because what they have now hasn't worked. I just wonder if this current set-up with Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Deng and Whiteside isn't getting a true shot. Injuries haven't allowed for it.
But, maybe none of that matters because the point guard play has been so bad, so this is a move that must be made, if possible.
Yet, here's the bottom line on any deal. If Wade doesn't stay healthy in the final 30 games none of this matters for this season. Without a healthy Wade, the Heat would have little to no chance in the 1st round of the playoffs.
Dragic would bring some stability to the offense, while losing a big presence on defense. You've got to give to receive, and soon enough we'll know if Miami is ready to give this playoff chase a totally different look.
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