The Miami Heat are on the verge of missing out on the NBA playoffs for the first time since the 2007-08 season after just one win in their last seven but, while they may be struggling on the court, the South Florida franchise have been given some positive news away from the hardwood.
That is after Goran Dragic, speaking before a tough 107-104 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, went on record to say that he hopes to stay with the Miami Heat next season.
Considering the Slovenian's impending free agency, and the slew of teams that will be in for his signature, his comments will be music to the ears of Heat fans looking for some positive news in this the twilight of a difficult season.
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Dragic only arrived in Miami in mid-February courtesy of a three-team trade involving the Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans but has the right to opt out of his current deal and test free agency over the summer. The 28-year-old cost the Heat a couple of future first-round draft picks and as such is a high priority for the team's front office heading into the offseason.
While they will be encouraged by Dragic's public statement of intent (especially considering the unceremonious way he left the Suns), the Miami Heat will still be aware that they will have to pay big to keep his heart set on long-term deal.
There is speculation this will likely be in the form of a max deal.
Dragic has impressed in his 25 games in a Heat jersey to date though and there is no doubt the team are keen on keeping him around. The shooting guard is averaging career numbers virtually across the board and is viewed by many as an integral part of Miami's future as they look to continue their post-LeBron James rebuild.
A max deal for the Slovenian though could raise questions about how active the Heat will be moving forward. Typing up money in Dragic certainly limits their options looking forward to the hyped free agency class of 2016.
What do you think Heat fans? Should keeping Goran Dragic in Miami be a priority? And are you worried he might leave anyway despite his comments? Let us know in the comments section below...
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