3 ways the Raptors can get rid of Goran Dragic at the trade deadline

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 23: Goran Dragic #1 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 23: Goran Dragic #1 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
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Goran Dragic, Toronto Raptors
Oct 23, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson (13) drives to the basket against Toronto Raptors guard Goran Dragic (1) Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

It remains to be seen if the Toronto Raptors will get anything of value for Goran Dragic at the trade deadline, but getting his big contract off the team’s books should be the top priority for Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster. Dragic hasn’t played for the team in months, perhaps because he has “higher ambitions” than competing for the playoffs.

While Dragic is 35 years old and has played in just a handful of games this season, Toronto is reportedly finding a great deal of interest in their Slovenian veteran. Dragic was averaging 13.4 points per game for the Heat just a season ago, so he’s not a completely shot asset.

Dragic will not be on the Raptors roster by the end of the season. It’s a matter of when and how they decide to get rid of him, not if. Plenty of desperate contending teams would love to bring Dragic to their city if he is on the market, though his salary might make a trade difficult.

Based on what the latest buzz has been saying, there are three ways in which the Raptors can finally get rid of the Dragic contract. Considering the fact that he’s given them minimal value this season and the team got better when he was removed from the rotation, no one would be sad to see him go.

3 ways the Toronto Raptors can ditch Goran Dragic.

3. Buy him out

This may not be the option the fanbase or organization wants, but it could be the most likely. Acquiring a player in his advanced age for about 30 games at the expense of some quality bench pieces is a risk that not every team will be inclined to take. If that happens, Toronto may need to swallow their pride and move on.

Dragic’s camp has been not-so-subtly angling for a move to the Mavericks to play alongside Luka Doncic. Unless they part with Dwight Powell, which wouldn’t make a ton of sense, the Mavericks won’t be able to both make the money match up and provide Toronto with adequate value.

Toronto Raptors rumors: Buying out Goran Dragic would sting.

In addition to Dallas, Fred Katz of The Athletic (subscription required) is reporting that Jon Horst and the Bucks might be interested in getting Dragic to Milwaukee. A buyout would, at the very least, get him off the roster, even if it does little to alleviate their proximity to the luxury tax.

Dragic playing just five games for the Raptors, getting his wish to play for a team with better title odds than Toronto, and depriving Masai Ujiri of compensation in a hypothetical trade would be the worst-case scenario. Still, if they are unable to find a partner, this is the only option they have left.