Goran Dragic Headed to the Miami Heat for Norris Cole, Danny Granger

Pat Riley has done it again.

As the NBA's trade deadline loomed Thursday afternoon, the Miami Heat was able to pull off a trade that netted them Goran Dragic from the Phoenix Suns, immediately improving the Heat's point guard situation while still keeping key pieces.

According to several reports, the Heat is sending Norris Cole, Danny Granger, Shawne Williams, and Justin Hamilton to the Suns for Goran and his brother Zoran. Rumors had been swirling all day that the Heat would have to give up either Luol Deng or Chris "Birdman" Andersen.

Instead, they keep both while bringing in a point guard who will immediately make Miami one of the more dangerous teams in the East.

The deal also includes the Heat sending two future first-round picks to the Suns. Cole, meanwhile, is being shipped from Phoenix to New Orleans for John Salmons.

Days before Thursday's 3:00 p.m. trade deadline, Dragic had asked the Suns to trade him. He handed Phoenix a list of teams he preferred going to, which included Miami, New York and the L.A. Lakers.

About an hour before the trade deadline, rumors began to swirl that the Suns were balking at any offers and were ready to hunker down and keep Dragic.

But, as seems to be the usual Riley magic, the Heat's team president was able to convince the Suns to make the deal.

With their new point guard in the fold, the Heat will have a potential starting lineup of Dragic, Deng, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Hassan Whiteside. Coming off the bench, Miami will have the Birdman, Mario Chalmers, Shabazz Napier, James Ennis, and another player that will fill the roster.

Dragic, 28, turns what has been the worst NBA backcourt, statistically, into a dangerous one.

Kirk Goldsberry of calls Dragic "one of the NBA's craftiest attack guards" in the league. Dragic can shoot the three, and is exceptional at attacking the rim. And now he'll have Bosh to work with out on the perimeter, and Whiteside to feed down low.

The main reason Dragic asked for a trade was that he wanted to play for a team that would give him the bulk of the minutes, and enabling him to getting back to doing what he does best.

"(I want) to be a point guard, like I was in the past, all my life," Dragic said earlier this week. "To be a point guard, to run the team, to have the ball in my hands and try to make plays for others. That's who I am."

And if you all didn't know who Pat Riley is, now you know.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph