Report: Zoran Dragic “in advanced discussions” to leave Europe for Suns next season

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UPDATE: According to Marc Stein of ESPN the Suns have emerged as the clear frontrunner to land Zoran Dragic, and pair him with his brother Goran. This will likely be a two-year deal at least.

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After a strong showing at the World Cup for Slovenia — 12.9 points a game and he shot 43.3 percent from three — a lot of NBA teams were interested in Zoran Dragic.

The Phoenix Suns want him badly — next summer they have to convinced his brother and the team’s star point guard Goran Dragic to stay as a free agent (he’s likely to) and having his brother on the team helps that cause. The Kings and Pacers both are said to be making a hard push. The Rockets, Mavericks, Heat and Spurs also all are rumored to have made inquiries.

It seems like someone is making real progress, reports Shams Charania of Real GM.

Of course, it’s all about the money.

First, Dragic’s buyout from BC Unicaja works out to about $962,325 (it’s 750,000 Euros, our number is at the exchange rate as of Sunday morning) and no NBA team is allowed to pay more than $600,000 of it. That means Dragic has to pay the rest. That’s a lot of dough.

Also, Dragic’s BC Unicaja salary is about $1.4 million dollars a year, plus the team covers his rent and some living expenses. Basically, whatever NBA team signs him is going to have to pay him at least $2 million and likely more to lure him away.

The undrafted Dragic can be signed at any price, he is basically a restricted free agent.

One that more and more it looks like will be coming to the NBA next season — somebody is willing to pony up to make it worth his while.