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Goran Dragic opts out with Heat

Orlando Magic v Miami Heat

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 13: Goran Dragic #7 of the Miami Heat drives to the basket Victor Oladipo #5 of the Orlando Magic on April 13, 2015 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE/Getty Images

From the moment they traded for him, the Heat expected to re-sign Goran Dragic.

Dragic stated and restated a hope to stay in Miami.

But this was always going to be the first step.

Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders:

Whether it’s $80 million over five years, the projected max of $109 million he could get re-signing with Miami or the projected max of $81 million he could get elsewhere, Dragic will make more than his $7.5 million player option next season. Plus, he’ll secure a long-term deal, which should be important to the 29-year-old.

The Heat face a challenging summer. Dwyane Wade isn’t making it easy on them, and Luol Deng can opt out, too. Miami must also leave room in 2016 to re-sign Hassan Whiteside. And the Heat probably want to limit their luxury-tax bill this season.

It’s a narrow rope to to walk.

The Heat surely wanted to keep Dragic – as they should – but by opting out, he puts pressure on them. Of course, they knew this was coming.