The Miami Heat endured a tough 2014-15 season in the wake of losing talisman LeBron James, a campaign that their president, Pat Riley, has already promised fans was simply a blip.
Despite such assurances, though, those in South Florida will be concerned at reports that two key figures could walk away this offseason.
Knock on effect
The speculation concerning Heat-lifer Dwyane Wade's future continues to grow and that uncertainty has, per reports, led Miami to low ball another star man who could walk away in free agency this summer.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, with a possibility they will need money available to offer Wade a new deal this summer, the Heat are planning to offer Goran Dragic a contract that is a full $20 million below the maximum.
Stein reports the offer for the All-NBA third-teamer would be $80m over five years. Miami are the only team who can offer Dragic the half-decade deal but their conservative offer leaves the door open to other teams interested in the future free agent - the Lakers and Knicks those most likely to make a move.
Both the Knicks and Lakers could swoop in and offer the full $100 million to Dragic for four-years. This would boost the Croatian's annual earnings up from around $16 million to $21 million.
Dragic has said he would like to stay with the Miami Heat after this summer plays out but, if the $80 million offer lands on his table, he would be foolish not to see what else is out there as he looks to get as much as possible from what is likely his career-high contract.
The point guard only arrived in Miami on trade deadline day back in February and has been viewed by many as an integral part of the Heat's rebuild plans moving forward.
With Dwyane Wade's situation far from clear, however, the Heat have been forced to begin negotiations with Dragic in a very conservative manner. You have to feel that the sooner Wade's future becomes clearer the better for the front office otherwise they run the serious risk of losing out to rival offers from those blessed with more cap space this summer.
Heat fans: Will both Wade and Dragic be on the roster next season, and should they be? Have your say in the comments section below...
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