The Heat have big plans for 2021 free agency. They also want to remain competitive after their run to the 2020 NBA Finals.
The perfect compromise solution: Re-signing players like Goran Dragic and Meyers Leonard for only one guaranteed season.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Free agent Goran Dragic has agreed to a two-year, $37.4M deal to re-sign with the Miami Heat, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 20, 2020
Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press:
Meyers Leonard tells The Associated Press that he intends to re-sign with the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat. Source tells AP it is a two-year deal, the second year being a team option.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) November 20, 2020
The Heat’s starting point guard, Dragic showed impressive zip in the bubble before getting hurt. That earned him such a high salary at age 34.
Leonard was Miami’s starting center throughout the regular season then lost his rotation spot in the playoffs. A $9 million salary for him next season is surprisingly high, but it costs only Heat owner Micky Arison real dollars. The opportunity cost in team-building is negligible. In fact, Leonard could prove more useful in a trade with this bigger contract.
By going this route rather than opening cap space, Miami has even more reason to re-sign Jae Crowder to a similar deal with only one year guaranteed.