Miami Heat Rumors and News: Kevin Durant Future Free Agent Target With Hassan Whiteside Contract? Goran Dragic Return Priority

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Jun 18, 2015 01:42 PM EDT
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Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder dunks on a fast break against the Miami Heat
Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder dunks on a fast break against the Miami Heat during a game at Chesapeake Energy Arena on February 20, 2014 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma."

The Miami Heat are coming into the summer with Goran Dragic and Dwyane Wade as the top priorities in free agency and this comes as the team is hoping to target Kevin Durant in 2016 and that could be the main reason why Miami wants Wade to take less money, as they have to sign Hassan Whiteside and Dragic moving forward in the future.

Dwyane Wade and Miami have been at odds over how to move forward on a contract, as Wade has a player option for next season and may opt out. According to the Miami Herald, Wade is looking for a three year deal at $20 million per season, while the Heat are looking for Wade to take a "below market deal." Miami is hoping to avoid "limited financial flexibility" moving forward, as the team reportedly wants to target Kevin Durant in the summer of 2016.

Adding to things for Miami is keeping Goran Dragic this summer along with the fact that Hassan Whiteside will need to be re-signed after this season. According to CBS Sports, Miami is "serious" about going after Durant in 2016 and that could be the main sticking point when it comes to Wade and his next contract. The Herald reports that Miami has offered a deal for three years and around $36 million, but Wade is looking for more money.

Wade has reportedly taken less money multiple times in the past to help Miami and now he is looking for some payback on the back end. Wade is likely signing the last "big money" deal of his career and at 33 years old he wants some security. Wade is not the player he once was, but he averaged over 20 points this season and was able to stay healthy for the majority of the year. Whiteside was very impressive this season while averaging 11 points and 10 rebounds and he will be getting a substantial raise next summer.

Miami could be active in free agency whether Wade stays or not, as players like Goran Dragic, Brook Lopez, DeMarre Carroll and Reggie Jackson could be potential targets. Keeping Dragic is the main priority for the team, but if that for some reason does not happen, Miami could go after Rajon Rondo or Reggie Jackson, who is a restricted free agent. Miami reportedly was interested in Jackson at the trade deadline and if he doesn't return to Detroit, he could be an option for Miami.

Dragic is a top target on the market and while Miami has the distinct advantage, he could consider signing with another team. According to Pro Basketball Talk, the Mavericks, Rockets, Lakers and Knicks all could chase Dragic. Miami has Chris Bosh on the roster and with Whiteside and Dragic getting deals in the future most likely, the team is worried about giving Wade too much money, even if he is the franchise star. Getting Durant is likely a bit of a pipe dream for Miami, but the team was able to get LeBron James once and they are hoping to put the team in the best position to try and lure Durant to South Beach.

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