The Miami Heat will have a lot of tough decisions to make in the offseason, which could benefit the New Orleans Pelicans.
When the New Orleans Pelicans go shopping this offseason, they might be browsing in South Beach.
The Miami Heat will have six unrestricted free agents hitting the open market this fall, as well as one restricted free agent who might find a new home.
Out of these seven players, five of them fit a current need for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Depending on what happens with their own free agents, the Pelicans’ wish list will likely include a defensive-minded wing, a backup center and a backup point guard.
The Pels will make an effort to re-sign Derrick Favors, which would lower their need for a center, though they will still need someone to fill the Jahlil Okafor role.
The same could be said of restricted free agent point guard Frank Jackson, who has shown some signs of emerging as the bench option the Pelicans need.
The Pels are very unlikely to re-sign Kenrich Williams or Darius Miller, so a long, defensive wing might be the most pressing need. The Pelicans were woeful at stopping bigger wings this season and need to add some muscle.
Here are the five Miami Heat free agents that would fit on the Pelicans, at least from a basketball perspective.
Goran Dragic is an expensive point guard option for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Goran Dragic: Point Guard
Dragic is 34-years-old but still has plenty left in the tank. In his first season as a full-time bench player, Dragic has put up some of the best numbers of his career.
He is averaging 16.1 points and 5.1 assists while shooting 37.7 percent from long-range on 5.8 attempts per game.
Dragic would be a perfect candidate to run the Pelicans’ second unit and would immediately solidify a group that has trouble scoring at times. His dribble penetration would lead to open three’s for J.J. Redick, Nicolo Melli and Josh Hart and if those shots aren’t falling, Dragic can take over in short stretches himself.
Dragic would be a big upgrade from Frank Jackson, who was too inconsistent to get big minutes off the bench. There is no doubt that Dragic fits from a basketball perspective.
The problem is Dragic made $19.2 million this season, and though he is unlikely to ever sniff that amount again, he is still going to get paid by someone.
Backup point guard is a need for the Pelicans, but can’t be considered top priority, so Dragic is probably a luxury they can’t afford.
If he does decide to give a significant discount, it would probably be to stay with the Heat, where he has spent the last six seasons and seems comfortable.