LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Goran Dragic didn’t wait long to confirm he would be staying with the Miami Heat, tweeting the news minutes into the NBA’s free agency negotiating period on Friday.
The Sun Sentinel reported Dragic had agreed to a two-year deal worth $37 million with a team option in the second year.
Agreements can’t become official until the signing period begins on Sunday.
Slovenian point guard Dragic came off the bench during the pandemic-disrupted 2019-2020 regular season, but returned to a starting role to help lead the Heat to the NBA Finals.
The 34-year-old tore his plantar fascia during Miami’s six-game loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the championship series, but says he has recovered and is eager to get back to work.
It will be a quick turnaround, with training camps due to open the first week of December and the NBA season scheduled to tip off on 22 December.
“I’m glad I can announce that I’m staying,” Dragic tweeted Friday, as teammate Meyers Leonard also indicated that he would remain with the franchise.
Things weren’t so clear everywhere, with free agent center Dwight Howard posting a tweet indicating he was returning to the Los Angeles Lakers and then deleting it before reports emerged he was headed to the Philadelphia 76ers.
I’m glad I can announce that I’m staying.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Howard agreed to a one-year guaranteed minimum deal of $2.5 million with the Sixers.
The Lakers did agree to a deal with free agent guard Wesley Matthews, the Los Angeles Times reported, a move that could be key after the Lakers traded shooting guard Danny Green to the Oklahoma City Thunder for point guard Dennis Schroder.
The newspaper also reported that reigning sixth man of the year Montrezl Harrell had agreed to jump from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Lakers on a two-year deal.
The Lakers can reportedly expect it to take longer to sort out a deal with star Anthony Davis, who opted out of the final year of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent.
Davis is expected to remain a Laker, but ESPN reported that he plans to mull his options as to length and structure of a contract for several days.
Another highly scrutinized free agent is Gordon Hayward, who opted out of his contract with the Celtics and is expected to depart Boston.
Other deals reported Friday included the Sacramento Kings’ agreement with point guard De’Aaron Fox on a long-term contract extension that the Sacramento Bee reported could be worth nearly $200 million with incentives.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported the Atlanta Hawks were finalizing a deal with Italian free agent forward Danilo Gallinari, who averaged 18.7 points and 5.2 rebounds with the Oklahoma City Thunder last season.