The Toronto Raptors acquired Goran Dragic from the Miami Heat as part of a signing and trade involving Kyle Lowry, however the guard made comments Monday suggesting Toronto is not their preferred destination.
Dragic reportedly told a Slovenian media outlet that he had “higher ambitions” than joining a Raptors team that is currently undergoing significant off-season changes.
Raptors general manager Bobby Webster was asked about Dragic and his potential future with the team Monday afternoon during an appearance on Sportsnet 590.
“I’d rather hear it directly from him to understand exactly what he meant by that (but) we feel like we’re going to be competitive,” Webster said, adding that he doesn’t see Dragic’s translated comments as controversial. “We have a core that has been around for a while and has also won at the highest level, so I think we’re going to give him a little time here to see how he would fit in and whether he likes it or not. He’s a professional and he’s been around a lot and obviously has the right to want to make the most of his (playing) years. “
The Raptors hoped the 35-year-old Dragic could help replace some of the veteran leadership Lowry is bringing to the Heat.
“By following him throughout his career, he’s a leader in the Slovenian national team, we’ve seen him bring those teams and we’ve seen him in the NBA at different levels,” Webster said of Dragic. “He’s not necessarily, at least from our point of view, a rah-rah guy, but he provides calm and firm leadership, a really good locker room presence and obviously he can still play.”
Dragic, who averaged 13.4 points, 4.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game last season, had spent the past six years in Miami following a trade from the Phoenix Suns in 2015. He is set to earn $ 19.44 million for the 2021-22 season. .