Miami Heat: Goran Dragic season recap and grade

Kyle Lowry #7 (R) of the Toronto Raptors shares a laugh with Goran Dragic #7 (L) of the Miami Heat (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Kyle Lowry #7 (R) of the Toronto Raptors shares a laugh with Goran Dragic #7 (L) of the Miami Heat (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

Goran Dragic had a 2018-19 season to forget for the Miami Heat for a variety of reasons. He’ll have the option to come back next season or leave for green pastures.

It was a rough season from the start for Goran Dragic. The Miami Heat point guard struggled out of the gate, scoring 16.3 points per game in his first 12 appearances of the season, but doing so on mediocre shooting splits of .413/.317/.760 before a troublesome knee injury forced him to miss the next three months.

Dragic didn’t play between the middle of December and late February as he recovered from surgery, and by the time he returned Justise Winslow had firmly entrenched himself in the starting point guard role. He found a rhythm coming off the bench, and he played well with Dwyane Wade in a reserve backcourt duo. The Heat had a net rating of +3 when Wade and Dragic were on the floor together last season.

Goran Dragic ended up closing the season as the starting point guard for the Miami Heat after a plethora of injuries dismantled the roster down the stretch. Winslow missed extended time, as did Josh Richardson, and when Winslow returned he was forced into duty at the three, meaning Dragic was again needed to shoulder the starting point guard role.

In Dragic’s 22 starts, the Heat went 9-13. Of course this can’t be blamed solely on him considering the dire state of the roster for a chunk of his starts, but it’s certainly an ignominious record nonetheless.

On the season, Dragic scored 13.7 points per game and had shooting splits of .413/.348/.782. He recorded the lowest effective field goal percentage of his career since his rookie season at 47.9 percent, and his true shooting percentage of 51.7 percent was the third-lowest of his career.

The Miami Heat’s well-documented struggles scoring off the pick-and-roll were partially on Dragic’s shoulders as well. Per Synergy, he scored just .749 points per possession (PPP) as the pick-and-roll ball handler, which placed him in the 32nd percentile.

While Dragic had a poor season by his standards, he played hurt and through injury. He played through shifting roles and minute loads, with different personnel, and a large chunk of his season was spent just trying to get back into a rhythm. It was a season to forget, but that’s more on his unfavorable circumstances than due to any fault of his own.

Goran Dragic has a big decision to make this summer. He has a $19 million player option to decide on before June 29th. He could depart for greener pastures and try to make his way elsewhere, probably in the hopes of a lower annual salary but more guaranteed money over more years, or he could play this one out with the Miami Heat and give it one last shot on South Beach.

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We’ll learn soon what he decides to do with this option, but in the meantime, Goran Dragic’s season gets a grade of C-.