"If someone wants you, they'll let you know" is a corny fraise that most of us heard at least once in our lives. But that's what Miami Heat did in free agency, and all of Slovenia knew. Not just Goran Dragić. Miami paid a couple of billboards in Dragić's hometown Ljubljana to showcase that they wanted him to re-sign. An impressive move by Miami.
Going that extra mile was worth it - Dragić has been a focal point in Miami's Finals run. Pat Riley knew it, coach Erik Spoelstra knew it so as the whole Heat organization. Goran was the silent leader of that talented team and a point guard that perfectly suited Spolestra's vision. The Slovenian point guard averaged 16,2 points, 3,2 rebounds, and 5,1 assists with 36,7% shooting for three in the regular season. His numbers in the playoffs were at 19,1 points, 3,3 rebounds, and 4,4 assists.
Then came the foot injury, which sidelined Dragić in Finals against the Lakers. And most basketball fans were wondering would the Lakers so easily win the chip if it wasn't for the injuries of Dragić and Bam Adebayo. The same thing was bothering Jimmy Butler, so he persuaded Dragić to sign with Miami in the most Jimmy Butler way. He called Dragić via FaceTime and made him an offer Goran couldn't refuse.
"He said, 'You better sign with the Heat. If not, I know where you live. I'm going to hunt you down. And I'm going to beat you up.'"
Goran Dragić, SI
Without any reservations, Butler confirmed the story. The team worked too good for them not to take another swing at the championship.
"I said, 'G, we got to run this back, or I'm going to punch you in your head.'"
Jimmy Butler, SI
Jimmy's unconventional techniques resulted in 34-year-old Dragić signing a two-year, $37.4 million deal. Given the injury he suffered, the Miami Heat are taking it slow with Dragić.
“We don't have him in every single rep of these practices, He's a seasoned veteran, too. He knows when to plug himself into practice and when to protect himself. We haven't had any issues with that. If it does get to a point where I have to intervene and make sure he's not doing too much, and I will.”
Erik Spoelstra, SI
With easing Dragić back into the rhythm, Miami has a chance to run it back. Last year their biggest opponent were injuries, not the Lakers. Let's see if they can make it happen this season.