The NBA trade deadline is Thursday and many teams are looking make some deals. There are a handful of teams that want improve their roster for the playoffs and the rest are basically trying to dump as many assets they can. Those assets are usually expiring contracts, but a few quality players do get moved at the deadline.
Goran Dragic, who won the Most Improved Player award last season (and even got a few MVP votes), looks to be on the move. He made it clear he won’t re-signing with the Phoenix Suns next year. Even though Phoenix is currently holding onto the 8th playoff spot in the West, they can’t afford to let him walk without getting anything in return.
Where will Dragic end up? What kind of deal will Phoenix get in return?
Up until today, Phoenix thought they could still manage to keep Dragic if they traded either Isaiah Thomas or Gerald Green. Dragic’s brother Zoran plays on the team, so they thought he might be open to taking a hometown discount to stay.
The problem in Phoenix is their backcourt is extremely crowded. Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas, Gerald Green, Archie Goodwin, Tyler Ennis and Zoran Dragic are all fighting for playing time. Dragic had his best season in 2014 with Bledsoe missing a large portion of the season with an injury. He clearly thrives when he’s the first scoring option on an up-tempo offense.
Which teams are interested in Dragic?
- Houston Rockets
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Sacramento Kings
- New York Knicks
- Miami Heat
- Indiana Pacers
Out of the teams on that list, Sacramento and Houston are the only teams that have the pieces to facilitate a deal. Indiana could have traded for Dragic last season, but didn’t pull the trigger. I’m sure they would much rather have Dragic than George Hill at this point. Also, Indiana doesn’t have the cap space to sign him to a long-term deal.
Houston owns first round picks from New Orleans (2015) and L.A. Lakers (2016) as well as having a few young pieces they could throw in the deal.
Sacramento might have the best package for a team still fighting for a playoff spot. They could trade both Jason Thompson and Nik Stauskas for Dragic. It makes sense for a possible playoff team, but I’m sure they’d rather not get backcourt player in return. Stauskas was the best shooter in last year’s draft, so it’s hard to pass up on a young shooter of his caliber.
Dragic is one of my favorite players to watch. He will make his new team a lot better.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.