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#pounditMonday, January 24, 2022

Hassan Whiteside asks to borrow money from Goran Dragic after new deal is announced

Goran-Dragic-Heat

12 hours in and NBA free agency is already off and running with Goran Dragic reportedly agreeing to a lucrative deal to remain with the Miami Heat.

According to a report published by ESPN NBA insider Marc Stein on Wednesday morning, the deal is for five years and $90 million, with a player option after the fourth year.

Getting the Slovenian point guard to re-up so early in the free agency period for approximately $18 million below the max represents a major victory for Pat Riley and the Heat. Miami is now armed with more flexibility for its efforts to retain franchise superstar Dwyane Wade this offseason in addition to a 2016 topography where Hassan Whiteside will be an unrestricted free agent and rumored Heat target Kevin Durant hits the open market as well.

The deal is right in the sweet spot of the Venn Diagram intersection point of paying Dragic his market value; maintaining wiggle room with which to execute other offseason maneuvers; and ensuring a figure above the threshold at which other teams could compete for the 29-year-old’s services.

An agreement early in free agency was expected and for Dragic to be so upfront, honest, and cooperative is a breath of fresh air for the Heat, especially after last offseason’s LeBron James debacle.

It will be interesting to see how the deal ages, especially considering that Dragic will be 34 when it expires, but in an NBA reality where overpays are quickly becoming the rule rather than the exception (I’m looking at Portland set to extend the less-efficient, defensive disaster Damian Lillard at a contract worth 33 percent more than Dragic’s as well as shelling out a mind-numbing $30 million for Al-Farouq Aminu), this contract should wind up being a friendly one for the Heat, all things considered.

The aforementioned Whiteside took to Twitter on Wednesday to express his congratulations to Dragic.

“100” emojis notwithstanding, Dragic is going to be able to lend Whiteside a lot more than that now and maybe Whiteside’s dinners will be on him now Chandler Parsons-style.

Nevertheless, the 26-year-old center is going to love continuing to play with Dragic as the duo put up a 106.3 offensive rating in the 486 minutes they shared the court together last season. They’ll be particularly lethal in the pick-and-roll with Whiteside finishing at the 97th percentile last year, posting 1.41 points per possession as the offensive roll man.

Pair that tandem with a healthy Chris Bosh, the newly opted-in Luol Deng, lottery steal Justise Winslow, and hopefully a sticking around for the fiesta by Dwyane Wade, and even if the Heat only run six or seven deep right now, they could make some serious noise out East in 2015-16.

*Stats via NBA.com and Basketball Reference*

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