Why is Goran Dragic a Raptor and not a Maverick right now?

Title: Why is Goran Dragic a Raptor and not a Maverick right now?
Date: August 10, 2021
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I went back and forth with Tim Cato, our Mavericks writer, to figure out if there might be a resolution to the Goran Dragic-Raptors-Mavericks stalemate.

As the 2021 NBA free agency period opened, the Miami Heat moved quickly — some might say suspiciously quickly — in agreeing to a three-year, $85 million contract with Kyle Lowry. It is not unusual for such a deal to come down the moment free agency begins.

What was unusual was a long delay in finding out the specifics of the sign-and-trade agreement that made Lowry to Miami possible.

In the end, the Heat agreed to send Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa to the Toronto Raptors for their trouble. Miami had just picked up Dragic’s team option for 2021-22, a minor surprise that telegraphed an agreement with Lowry was in place. The party lines will be that Dragic’s option was picked up for a potential scenario in which the Heat didn’t land Lowry or, as it played out, because he was attractive to other teams. The truth is likely the exact reason Miami negotiated a hefty team option in the first place: It makes for great salary ballast.

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