Toronto Raptors

Goran Dragic apologizes for 'higher ambitions' comment on his future with the Toronto Raptors

Goran Dragic has apologized for comments he made to Slovenian media about his future with the Toronto Raptors.

"My message basically, to all Toronto fans, is I would like to apologize," Dragic told Michael Grange of Sportsnet. "It didn't come out the right way. I know they love their team and they should be proud, it is one of the best organizations in the NBA. They've already won a championship and I didn't, so what I said, it really was not appropriate."

The Raptors acquired Dragic from the Miami Heat as part of the sign-and-trade for Kyle Lowry that was made official on Aug. 6.

In a video that went viral on Monday, Dragic was asked about the trade by local media, to which he responded "Toronto is not my preferred destination. I have higher ambitions" according to a translation.

"I was in the centre of the city and the journalists were there and I was asked about Toronto and it was basically taken out of context.

"I told them that I had spent seven years in Miami and that would be the preferred destination for me because my family is there and everything, not Toronto."

"I cannot lie, of course I was sad [to be traded]," Dragic continued. "First of all, I spent seven years in Miami and the second thing is I have two kids and family in Miami and you have to move to a different city, you basically need to start over and find a school and everything. It's been hard."

Dragic was traded from the Phoenix Suns to the Heat during the 2014-15 season. He earned the first All-Star selection of his career in 2017-18 and played a leading role in Miami's surprising run to the NBA Finals in 2020.

Last season, Dragic appeared in 50 games with the Heat, 11 of which he started in, averaging 13.4 points, 4.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds on .432/.373/.828 shooting splits.

MORE: What Dragic brings to the Raptors

There has been chatter of Dragic possibly being rerouted to another team, the Dallas Mavericks being the favourite due to their desire for an additional ball handler and his connection to franchise cornerstone Luka Doncic. Raptors general manager Bobby Webster said that they have " entertained" a trade for Dragic and were upfront with both him and his representatives about it, but they ultimately want him in Toronto.

The Heat picked up Dragic's team option for the 2021-22 season prior to the trade, setting him up to be an unrestricted free agent next offseason.

"I've always been professional," said Dragic. "You can ask a bunch of people. Everywhere I've played, wherever I'm going to play, I'm going to be professional and do my job.

"I love basketball, I love to play and I'm going to give 100 percent wherever I play. Right now I'm [with] Toronto, and that's my main thing to think about."

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