The Toronto Raptors have reportedly been "resistant" to inquires from the Dallas Mavericks about a potential trade for point guard Goran Dragic.
Veteran reporter Marc Stein explained on The Crossover NBA Show podcast on Tuesday the Raptors view Dragic, who was acquired in the Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade deal with the Miami Heat, as a "very tradeable" asset and there's "no way" he's bought out by Toronto.
Stein noted the Mavs would be a major player if Dragic ends up on the free-agent market, but may lack the resources to make a formidable trade offer.
"I think it's gonna be tough," Stein said. "They've already tried, based on everything I've been told. Toronto has been resistant to it."
On Monday, a video clip surfaced of the 35-year-old guard speaking to Slovenian TV reporters about his trade to the Raptors.
"Toronto is not my preferred destination," Dragic said. "I have higher ambitions. We'll see."
He later apologized for those remarks in an interview with Sportsnet's Michael Grange.
"My message basically, to all Toronto fans, is I would like to apologize," Dragic said. "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."
Dragic averaged 13.4 points, 4.4 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.8 threes across 50 appearances for the Heat last season. He's under contract for the 2021-22 season after Miami exercised a team option in his deal before the trade. He'll count $19.4 million against the salary cap and be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Raptors general manager Bobby Webster confirmed there were talks about potentially flipping the 2018 All-Star to Dallas, but a deal didn't come to fruition.
"We entertained it, and we were up front with Goran," Webster told reporters Friday. "We liked him from the start. ... Ultimately, we want Goran here. I think he's happy to be here."
Toronto missed the playoffs with a 27-45 record last season and could be heading toward another rebuilding year following the departure of Lowry. In turn, trying to trade Dragic before his contract runs out makes sense, but the front office could wait until closer to the trade deadline if necessary.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks could use some added guard depth behind the starting tandem of Luka Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr. They have a limited number of attractive trade chips to equal out the contracts, however, which could bring the need for a third team to make a deal work with the Raptors.
It's possible Dragic still needs up in Dallas, but any hope of getting him for a bargain price or as a free agent after a buyout from Toronto has seemingly faded away.