Miami Heat Rumors: Pat Riley Wants Draft Pick, Goran Dragic A Pawn

By James Johansson, Posted: 12/24/16 01:37PM EST

The Miami Heat will likely miss the playoffs for the second straight season, as they looked focused on rebuilding their squad after losing several superstars. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade moved to other teams, while Chris Bosh remains on the sideline due to health issues.

With the Heat sitting 13th place in the Eastern Conference, they could become sellers before the trade deadline in February. And according to the Miami Herald, the Heat, particularly team president Pat Riley, will shop for a first-round pick before the deadline.

The Heat could own one of the top five picks in the 2017 NBA Draft based on the current trend. However, Riley is not contented, as he has already expressed interest in acquiring another first-rounder or two.

And in the event the Heat decides to shop for a first-round pick before the deadline, veteran point guard Goran Dragic will likely be dealt to another team. The report pointed out that Dragic is the Heat's best trade asset, as they are not expected to give up Hassan Whiteside and Justise Winslow.

Dragic, who is playing in his third season in Miami, is averaging 19.3 points on top of 6.6 assists and 4.0 rebounds a game. His trade value is going up and teams are not expected to hesitate absorbing his contract. The 30-year-old is playing in the second season of his five-year, $85 million contract with the Heat.

The nine-year veteran reportedly wants to play for a contender. Recent reports indicated that the veteran playmaker wants out of Miami because of their current struggles. However, Dragic has already denied the trade rumors, insisting that he wants to stay with the Heat.

"I feel comfortable in Miami. I feel great," Dragic said via the Sun Sentinel. "We have a young team. I really got connected with the young guys, and I feel young, too, with them, and I would like to stay here."

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