Some Heat and Canes notes on a Friday:
• Heat point guard Goran Dragic was irked at a report by The Vertical’s Chris Mannix indicating that he is “open” to a trade.
“I totally deny that. That’s not true. That’s bull [expletive],” Dragic told my colleague, Manny Navarro, and The Palm Beach Post’s Tom D’Angelo late Thursday night about any suggestion he’s looking for a trade to a contender.
Here’s what Mannix reported on The Vertical:
“When Dragic forced a trade to Miami two years ago, he thought he was joining a team one piece away — him — from being a conference contender. Today he’s leading a roster that’s a couple of losses from falling below Philadelphia in the East basement. Dragic is open to a trade, league sources told The Vertical, and Miami has pursued that option. An early season swap with Sacramento for Rudy Gay fell apart when the Heat sought Darren Collison, sources said, and teams that have probed Miami about Dragic have found the Heat open to offers.
“And why not? Dragic is 30, and if Miami is going to maximize its return on an All-Star-level point guard having another strong season, now is the time. He’s a depreciating asset, a bona fide star, to be sure, but one who doesn’t draw fans (the announced “sellout” of 16,700 on Tuesday was laughable; there were maybe 5,000 in the seats) and who will likely be in decline when Riley is able to remold the Heat into a contender. The value of the assets Dragic could fetch in a trade could exceed the immediate value he has to the organization.”
With regard to Mannix’s Rudy Gay report: The Heat previously told Dragic that that trade story, when initially reported in October, was not true but hasn’t told him anything since about whether he could be dealt.
“I was grateful they told me [in October], but it’s not their job [to brief me on trade rumors],” Dragic told me. “I completely understand what is going on in this league. It’s a business.”
Keep in mind that the NBA draft is top-heavy in high-end point guard prospects.
Could the Heat eventually trade Dragic? Sure.
But I would be surprised if he’s moved in the immediate future and he might not be moved at all. (It all depends on what the Heat gets in return; I very much doubt it would be a straight cap-clearing salary dump without Miami getting a lottery pick back or something of real value.)
And from conversations with Dragic, I do NOT believe he wants a trade. He seems to genuinely like it here and prefers not to move his family again.
• Per Elias: Hassan Whiteside and Justise Winslow posted identical totals of 23 points and 13 rebounds in the Heat’s 115–107 home win over the Lakers. Whiteside made nine of 12 field-goal attempts (75%) while Winslow shot 10-for-16 (63%). It was the second time in franchise history that two Miami players had at least 20 points and 12 rebounds while making at least 60% of their shots from the floor. The first was on November 22, 1995, when Alonzo Mourning and Billy Owens did that in a home win over the Warriors.
• Caneinsight.com reported earlier this month that UM running back Gus Edwards might transfer. I have independently confirmed that Edwards has indeed given some thought to transferring, even though he likely would be the No. 2 back next season. But if Edwards has made a decision, he hasn’t let UM know. Nor has he said how he’s leaning.
• 247sports.com’s Chris Stock reports that UM quarterback Brad Kaaya is expected to turn pro after the bowl game. From what I’ve heard, there are people inside UM who expect him to turn pro, as do some associates. We’ll see. For more on this topic, including Mark Richt’s thoughts on the matter, here’s colleague Susan Miller Degnan’s story today.
Here’s my six-pack of Dolphins nuggets today, including one Dolphins veteran improving his stock, another neat thing that Adam Gase does, CBS’ explanation for showing the Dolphins game to very little of the country, and more. And please follow me on Twitter: @flasportsbuzz