Update: It turns out that the deal also includes the New Orleans Pelicans who send John Salmons to Phoenix. New Orleans will get Cole. Zoran Dragic is also part of the package to Miami.
In what may end up being the most impactful deadline deal, at least on this year’s playoff race, Goran Dragic has been dealt to the Miami Heat for two first round picks, Norris Cole, Danny Granger, Shawne Williams and Jordan Hamilton.
We knew all day that Dragic was likely to be on the move, but it began to look less likely as the minutes towards the deadline ticked away. When Pat Riley threw down this Godfather offer, it was clear that he’s serious about this team contending this year.
Now, with a starting lineup of Dragic, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside, this team instantly moves their way up into being one of the strongest teams in the East. They’re going to have depth problems, just as they have all season, but considering the biggest player they dealt has barely been getting on the court, this trade really doesn’t hurt them all that much for now.
Of course, the keys to the Heat actually contending for a spot in the Eastern Conference finals are Wade staying healthy (no guarantees there) and Whiteside continuing his high level of play. I wrote this morning about how I’m not sure if that’s the most likely thing. Still, you can be sure that no team is going to want to play the Heat in the first round, regardless of how good that team is.
In terms of what this means for the Suns, they’re getting a lot more out of Dragic than the nothing he would have been in the offseason. Cole is a serviceable backup, McRoberts should be worth something next year when he’s back, and the two picks are obviously huge assets, either for trades or drafting.