UPDATED 08/09, 8:21 p.m. ET: Goron Dragic has apologized to Toronto Raptors fans for his earlier comments about the city not being his preferred destination.
“I would like to apologize. It didn’t come out the right way,” Dragic told Sportsnet’s Michael Grange on Monday. “I know they love their team, and they should be proud, it is one of the best of organizations in the NBA.
“They’ve already won a championship, and I didn’t, so what I said, it really was not appropriate.”
See original story below.
The 35-year-old point guard, who Toronto received as part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Miami Heat for Kyle Lowry, recently told a Slovenian news outlet that the 6ix isn’t where he’d ideally like to be next season.
“Toronto is not my preferred destination. I have higher ambitions. We’ll see,” Dragic reportedly said in Slovenian.
The expectation around the NBA was that the Raptors would flip Dragic—who they aquired along with Precious Achiuwa—in a trade to another team, or just buy him out. But Masai Ujiri and the Raptors have yet to do so. The organization has “resisted external interest in Dragic thus far,” reported Marc Stein in a recent newsletter. While the Dallas Mavericks are among the teams that have attempted to acquire the point guard via a trade, Toronto “appears to have other plans for now—which certainly don’t include buying him out,” Stein said.
Dragic and the Mavericks reportedly have mutual interest in one another, as the veteran point guard has been a mentor to fellow countryman Luka Doncic. Still, there’s been no word on a deal as of yet.
“We entertained [a trade] and we were upfront with Goran and his representatives so it’s very transparent,” Raptors general manager Bobby Webster said in a presser after the sign-and-trade. “We’ve liked him from the start; obviously if we got an offer that was too good to refuse we’d listen, but ultimately we want Goran here.”
Dragic averaged 13.4 points per game on 43 percent shooting last year, with most of that production coming off of the bench. He was a key part of the Heat’s roster in the 2019/20 season, helping them get to the Finals. With veteran experience, great playmaking ability, and a three-point shot that’s still money, he’d serve as a solid backup point guard on the Raptors’ roster behind Fred VanVleet.
But, as Dragic says, we’ll see.