Ljubljana/Miami – Goran Dragić, one of the only two Slovenian players in the National Basketball Association (NBA), has announced that he is staying with the Miami Heat, reportedly for another two years. “I’m glad that I can announce that I’m staying with my Miami Heat. Let’s finish the job we started!” he said on Twitter.
With his five-year, US$90 million contract with the Miami Heat having expired, the 34-year-old from Ljubljana became a free agent at midnight, but only for a few moments.
Dragić, who has been playing for the Miami Heat since 2015, when he landed there after a trade with the Phoenix Suns, announced he was staying with the team from Florida immediately after the NBA free agency started.
While the official terms of the deal are not known, the sports website The Athletic reports that the Slovenian has signed a two-year contract worth US$37.4 million. The second year is a team option.
Announcing the re-signing with the Heat on Twitter, Dragić posted a video showing dozens of posters with his name and him in the Miami Heat uniform around his home in Ljubljana.
“It’s nice to be back in the Miami Heat uniform. This morning I woke up to see all these posters around my house. What an amazing surprise. I can’t wait to get back to work,” he said in the video.
The Slovenian media report that Dragić has also been honoured with a number of billboards around Ljubljana, ordered and paid for by the franchise.
Dragić has told the Associated Press (AP) about the billboards that “it really touched my heart. This is my home. I want to stay here in Miami. I appreciate…the whole organisation and what they did for me.”
“Happy to be back. That was my plan, to come back, but in this crazy business you never know,” added the veteran point guard who was not able to fully help his team in the NBA Finals loss against the Los Angeles Lakers due to an injury.
He is coming off a year where he averaged 16.2 points, 5.1 assists and 3.2 rebounds while playing off the bench in the regular season. He was much better in the NBA bubble in Orlando as he earned a starting spot.