Goran Dragic Targeted by Indiana Pacers
Phoenix Suns point guard Goran Dragic is being targeted as a major player in the Indiana Pacers plans for the future, and the Pacers have reached out the Suns to try and find some common ground for a trade.
The Pacers, coming off a season where they wrapped up the number one seed in the NBA Playoffs, only to lose in six games to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, are looking to bolster their point guard position. George Hill had been the Pacers starting point guard, but inconsistencies and the lack of offense-leading skills make Hill a constant question mark and Goran Dragic the possible answer.
According to The Sporting News, the Phoenix Suns consider Dragic a keeper and have not seriously entertained the Pacers’ advances. But Dragic is in the third year of a four year deal and will be a free agent next summer, and guard Eric Bledsoe is a free agent this off season, meaning his contract negotiations–and his payday–come first.
And the Suns have been in the Lebron James talks as well, as James is reportedly seeking max money, which is something the Heat cannot do with the “big three,” even after all three players filed for free agency. At some point, something will have to give, and the Indiana Pacers hope that its Goran Dragic.
Dragic averaged 20.3 points per game last season and shot 50.5 percent from the field. The Pacers biggest free agent is arguably Lance Stephenson, who earlier this week walked away from a five year, $44 million dollar offer to test the free agent waters. Indycornrows.com is reporting that the Pacers may pull off a sign-and-trade and send Stephenson to the Suns for Dragic, if only Phoenix would engage in the trade talks. ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that the Suns may be asking for too much, which is hindering the talks.
Earlier on Thursday, Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo somehow entered the conversation, as a three team deal was proposed with Boston that would send Rondo to Phoenix, Dragic to Indiana, and Stephenson to Boston, or possibly Pacers center Roy Hibbert to either Boston or Phoenix.
However it pans out, the Indiana Pacers want Goran Dragic, and are willing to break up the core team–something that team president Larry Bird said they didn’t want to do last week during the NBA Draft–to ensure that it happens. With Carmelo Anthony, Lebron James and the rest of his Heat teammates dominating the free agent newswire, Goran Dragic has suddenly become a very hot commodity and the something could be worked out sooner rather than later.
[Photo by Christian Peterson, Getty Images]