Goran Dragic is in the middle of a busy offseason.
First, there was the business of taking care of his mouth. Dragic has a bone fracture above his upper teeth and is in the middle of having extensive work done.
Then, he and his family will return home to Slovenia to be with family and, for Goran, a little rest ahead of competing in the EuroBasket championships.
“I’m going to play for my national team this summer and at the same time be smart,” Dragic said following the season. “I’m not going to work too much and I’m going to try to come back fresher and be ready to play.”
Slovenia secured a spot in the 2017 championships by going 6-0 in last summer’s qualifying tournament that involved 27 countries in which 11 advanced. Slovenia will compete in the tournament for the 13th consecutive year, its best finish being fourth in 2009.
Dragic led the qualifying tournament in assists with 8.4 per game. He also led Slovenia, and was seventh in the tournament, with 17.4 points per game.
Practice starts Aug. 1 and the tournament will run into the third week of September for the finalists. First round matches for Slovenia will be held in Finland.
“I have enough time to recover,” he says about the busy summers. “Even with playoffs you still have enough time to get off your feet.”
The championships will take place every four years starting this summer and Dragic, who turns 31 next week, expects this will be the last time he participates.
Dragic said several times last season that he believes having played in the qualifying tournament helped him focus and got him in premium shape for the NBA season.
Dragic finished the season as the Heat’s leader in scoring with 20.3 points and assists with 5.8. He averaged 33.7 minutes. President Pat Riley called Dragic the “backbone” of the Heat and the tam’s “glue guy.”