The San Antonio Spurs and Goran Dragic are expected to negotiate a contract buyout in the coming week, clearing the way for a formidable list of free-agent suitors for Dragic that now includes the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors, sources told ESPN.
The Lakers and Warriors are planning to join several rivals, including the LA Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets, in aggressive pursuit of Dragic, sources said.
Dragic is emerging as the top player on the buyout market, with contending teams confident that he has stayed in excellent condition while working out in South Florida and can contribute in short order on a new team.
The Spurs traded for Dragic on Thursday and also acquired a protected 2022 first-round pick in the deal.
Dragic, 35, has an outstanding postseason pedigree and a penchant for immediately taking on leadership roles with teams. He played five games for the Toronto Raptors this season before mutually agreeing to allow him to work out away from the team until a trade could be found. In his 15th NBA season, Dragic still has recent playoff success on his résumé. He started 16 postseason games and averaged 19 points during the Miami Heat‘s run to the NBA Finals in 2020, before a plantar fasciitis injury sidelined him in the Finals.
Dragic has had previous stops with the Phoenix Suns (twice), Houston Rockets, Miami and Toronto in his career, which has included an All-NBA third-team selection and the league’s Most Improved Player award in 2014.
Dragic was part of the July sign-and-trade deal with Miami that delivered Kyle Lowry to the Heat.