Tag: Phoenix Suns


Report: Goran Dragic sees Lakers as ‘perfect fit’ in free agency this summer


Goran Dragic was traded to the Heat as part of a slew of deadline day deals, and while Miami was reportedly on the list of destinations he’ll consider signing long term as a free agent this summer, he may currently view Los Angeles as a more interesting option.

From Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

The Lakers expressed a “ton” of interest in guard Goran Dragic, according to an NBA source familiar with the situation. But the Lakers “just didn’t have assets,” the league source said. Instead, the Phoenix Suns traded Dragic and his brother, Zoran, to the Miami Heat for Danny Granger, Justin Hamilton and two first-round picks. …

A person familiar with Dragic’s thinking said he “loves the opportunity” to join the Lakers and sees them as a “perfect fit” when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. But the Heat can sign Dragic a five-year deal worth up to $100 million, while other teams can offer up to a four-year deal worth $80 million.

The part about the Heat having that extra contract year to offer is true, but it means less than ever before. More and more players are choosing to sign shorter deals now, in exchange for bigger paydays once the salary cap spikes (thanks to the league’s lucrative new broadcast rights deal) in advance of the 2016-17 season.

The Lakers are at the point where they’ll have to overpay a bit to get a free agent to come. Dragic is a borderline All-Star and a terrific attacking point guard, but a four-year deal worth $80 million may scare most suitors away. The Knicks may come with that type of offer, too, but the only thing that’s clear now is that Dragic will have no shortage of free agent options.

If Chris Bosh is out for season, what are Miami’s options? They’re not pretty.

Washington Wizards v Miami Heat

It’s not official yet, but if Chris Bosh does have a blood clot in his lung his season is over. His condition is not yet a life-threatening situation Heat coach Eric Spoelstra said Friday, but it is not something that can be ignored and just played through either. The doctors need to figure out how and why the clots are forming.

If Bosh is out for the rest of this season, what options does that leave Pat Riley and the Miami Heat?

It’s not pretty.

With Goran Dragic running the show they should still make the playoffs in East, but the team with a starting five who made teams near the top of the East a little nervous disappears. The Heat have gone from the team you’d want to avoid in the first round to “I hope we get them.”

Bosh is that important. He is averaging 21.1 points and seven rebounds a game this season, but more than that he is the key to the spacing of Maimi’s offense. He can post his defender up if you go too small on him, step out and hit from the perimieter (including the three) if you go too big on him. He moves the ball, he creates matchup problems, and he’s a fantastic pick-and-roll defending big. He’s an elite player.

You don’t just replace that.

Miami has Hassan Whiteside and his energy, and post game, will get more run; but he’s not the polished shooter and floor spacer that is Bosh. Miami will likely lean on more Udonis Haslem, who may knock down the occiassional midrange baseline jumper but most teams will be happy to let him take it. Miami can lean more on Chris Andersen, but the Birdman has not been the same this season.

In the short term, the Heat have called up D-League forward Henry Walker (you may remember him better as Bill Walker, he changed his name). They likely will make a push to sign free agent Andray Blatche once his season in China ends. Blatche can hit some midrange shots, but again most teams would live with that considering the other options on Miami’s offense.

The best plan, now that Dragic is in place, is to go small and fast — try to run teams into the ground. With athletes like Whiteside, Luol Deng, and even Dwyane Wade Miami can win some games playing at pace. At least regular season games. The playoffs are another matter.

Spoelstra and the Heat have no good options. You simply cannot replace Chris Bosh.

But next season, Miami could be very interesting. And dangerous.


Ryan McDonough on trading his best player: ‘Eric Bledsoe and Markieff Morris are still in Phoenix Suns uniforms’

Houston Rockets v Phoenix Suns

Goran Dragic stated his desire to leave the Suns and criticized their management.

After trading him to the Heat, the Suns are firing back.

General manager Ryan McDonough, via Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic:

President Lon Babby:

McDonough is correct that signing Isaiah Thomas was not a mistake. Phoenix got a first rounder out of it.

It’s also a fair point that McDonough wasn’t worried about Dragic’s list of the Heat, Lakers and Knicks (though it probably affected what those teams and other teams offered Phoenix).

And Babby is right that adding Eric Bledsoe was worth the potential downside to Dragic. The combination largely worked well together.

I won’t get into whether Dragic’s comments on the front office – “I don’t trust them” – were fair. I have no way of knowing what he was promised.

But with all due respect to Markieff Morris and Bledsoe (who was having the top season so far in Phoenix because adjusted best to the crowded backcourt), Dragic was the Suns’ best player.