Miami Heat Free Agent Rumors: Goran Dragic Return Likely Over New York Knicks Max Contract With Brook Lopez Target For Dwyane Wade?

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May 22, 2015 12:23 PM EDT
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Goran Dragic #7 of the Miami Heat
Goran Dragic #7 of the Miami Heat is guarded by Brook Lopez #11 of the Brooklyn Netsduring a game at American Airlines Arena on March 11, 2015 in Miami, Florida."

The Miami Heat are coming into the offseason with Goran Dragic as the main priority and they want him in on a max contract over the point guard signing with the New York Knicks, Lakers or Rockets following his trade this season and this comes as the Heat could chase players like Greg Monroe, Brook Lopez or DeAndre Jordan in free agency.

Miami is coming into the offseason after missing the playoffs and Dragic is the main player to watch for the team once free agency starts. According to Pro Basketball Talk, Dragic is likely to stay in Miami, but he wants to test the market and see what offers are out there. Miami gave up first round draft picks to the Phoenix Suns to get the deal done for Dragic and now the team is poised to give him a max contract as a free agent.

Dragic is considered to be the one of the top guards on the market along with Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo, Reggie Jackson and Brandon Knight and he could end up with the biggest contract of the group. Miami has the advantage over all the other teams gunning for Dragic, as they can give him the biggest contract with the most years and highest amount of money. The max deal will be in the range of five years and $100 million, but that likely will not stop teams like the Lakers and Knicks from going after him.

Brook Lopez is another player that could be in the mix for the Heat, as he is expected to have a big market this summer. According to the Journal Times, the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers all could be interested in Lopez if he considers leaving Brooklyn. The nets reportedly want to keep him, but things could be tough if Lopez doesn't exercise his $16.7 million player option for next year. Lopez is expected to get a major contract offer on the market and that is why he likely will opt out.

Pro Basketball Talk reported that the Lakers are interested in Dragic and will offer him a max contract, but they are at a disadvantage with Miami being able to give the extra years. Dragic has said already that he prefers to stay in Miami and that "he's hoping to stay with the Heat" as long as the financials are "on the same page". Dragic's numbers were down last season from what he did with the Suns the year before, but that was more about the offensive system and the addition of Isaiah Thomas, who was eventually traded to the Celtics.

The Lakers may look at Rondo harder if Dragic decides to stay in Miami, as he likely would be a cheaper option than signing Dragic to a max contract. The team also has Jordan Clarkson coming back after a strong season and they could look at pushing him into the starting lineup. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Dragic is "likely" to stay with the Heat and that while he will opt out of his contract, the extra year that Miami can give him is likely the deciding factor in him staying with the Heat.

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