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Goran Dragic says he prefers not to stay with Raptors

Goran Dragic in Miami Heat v Toronto Raptors

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JANUARY 20: Goran Dragic #7 of the Miami Heat drives on Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors during a game at Amalie Arena on January 20, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) 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.

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The Raptors have reportedly resisted trading or buying out Goran Dragic, whom they acquired in the (almost certainly still-on) Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade.

Toronto general manager Bobby Webster, via Josh Lewenberg of TSN:

“Obviously, if we got an offer that was too good to refuse we’d listen but ultimately we want Goran here,” Webster said. “He’s happy to be here

Did anyone tell Dragic?

Zoran Savin (hat tip: Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News):

Michael Grange from Sportsnet Canada reached out to Dragic about the comments and he apologized.

Dragic (35) isn’t a natural fit as Toronto builds long-term around Scottie Barnes (20), OG Anunoby (24), Fred VanVleet (27) and probably/maybe Pascal Siakam (27).

But those incumbent Raptors are way too good just to tank. Toronto could use a solid point guard like Dragic to replace Lowry in a bid to return to the playoffs next season (if that even interests the Raptors).

On an expiring $19.44 million contract, Dragic holds limited power. If he offered to surrender enough money in a buyout, perhaps Toronto would accommodate him..

But the Raptors would prefer positive return on a trade (which would also allow Dragic to keep his entire salary, though not control of his destination).

Wanting a trade from the Suns 2015, Dragic publicly blasted Phoenix’s front office. It worked. The Suns traded him to Miami. He later expressed regret for the comments, nearly admitting he was exaggerating to incite a deal.

So, we’ll see whether Dragic again agitates for a move. But that’s his best leverage at this point.