That, of course, has increased the speculation that Dragic is unhappy in his first season in Toronto, given his lack of playing time. Rumors have reportedly linked him to the Mavericks, though it seems unlikely that anything is in the works for the time being.
“The feeling all along has been the team would hold on to him hoping to deal him to a contender,” wrote Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun. “Dallas where countryman Luka Doncic has always been a potential destination.”
Dragic, 35, is 6-foot-3 and averaged 13.4 points and 4.4 assists in 50 games with the Heat last year. Barring a trade, he could potentially have his contract bought out before the end of the season, Ganter noted.
This year, Dragic has played just five games with Toronto, with his last appearance coming on Nov. 13, when he scored 16 points vs. the Pistons. He was traded to the Raptors as part of the Kyle Lowry deal.
Even so, his future with the Raptors remains very much up in the air, per Marc Stein of Substack.
“This will undoubtedly ramp up speculation about Dragic making his way to Dallas to team with countryman Luka Doncic, or another team closer to title contention, but league sources maintain that there has been little change (yet) in the big Dragic picture,” Stein wrote. “It likely remains too early in the season for the Raptors and Dragic to entertain a productive buyout discussion.”
This doesn’t mean the Raptors have completely given up on the idea of moving on from Dragic, Stein noted.
“Toronto continues to cling to hope that it can still find a trade home for Dragic’s $19.4 million expiring contract between now and the Feb. 10 trade deadline,” Stein wrote. “Dragic would undoubtedly love the chance to become a free agent and pick his next team at age 35, but a buyout becomes more palatable for him financially closer to (or maybe even after) the trade deadline.”
Meanwhile, the Raptors are publicly remaining supportive.
“Goran is taking some time away from the team, with our full support, to manage a personal matter,” general manager Bobby Webster said in a statement. “He has been a complete professional in the time that he has been with the Raptors — Goran has been a great mentor to our younger players and a valued teammate for our veterans.
“He will continue to work out and stay in shape during his time away. There is no definite timeline for this process, and we will advise updates as appropriate.
“Goran has the backing of Masai (Ujiri), Nick (Nurse) and the entire organization, and we wish him nothing but the best.”