The triangle offense is not one that needs a strong, traditional point guard. Think Derek Fisher, think Ron Harper. The Knicks have Jose Calderon — 9.3 points a game and a PER of 13, below the league average — for two more seasons after this one.
But the Knicks (and their fan base) are desperate for talent, and one talented player that could be exploring the free agent field this summer is Goran Dragic. A dynamic point guard averaging 16 points a game and a 17.2 PER who, like the rest of the Suns, are having some issues getting comfortable in a three point guard lineup.
So in an exercise of the obvious after the Suns beat the Knicks Saturday, some of the New York media asked Dragic if he would want to play for the Knicks. What do you think he would say? From Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.
“Oh yeah, definitely,” said Dragic, who earned All-NBA third-team honors last season. “You know Phil, he was a great coach. He won so many titles and he was coaching so many great players that of course it’s interesting and I would love working with him. Because probably he’s making all the moves — I’m not sure — but he knows what the team needs and what direction the team needs to go. In the past probably, he makes some decisions, who the Lakers bring in and the Chicago Bulls and (he)did an amazing job.”
Go ahead and spin this as “of course guys still want to come play for the Knicks” and “of course Phil Jackson is still a draw” if you want. Those two statements are true, they are just farther down the importance scale than they used to be for most players.
Right now the question around the league is would the Suns trade Dragic? Teams have been calling the Suns to find out, but are getting nowhere.
The list of things that will be the draw for all free agents starts with money, money and then money. The Suns can offer the most to Dragic and have said they plan to keep him, but the Knicks (and Lakers and some other teams out there) can come in with max and near max offers. Then it gets down to what other things matter to Goran — how much does he like Phoenix and how much does he like being teammates with his brother Zoran, for example.
Dragic is a smart free agent keeping his options open. So is it possible he would leave the Valley of the Sun for NYC?
“I think so it’s a possibility, but not just New York,” Dragic said. “I’m a free agent. I want to explore my options but so far I’m really happy in Phoenix. They give me a lot. I like the city. I like the fans and I like the organization, so it’s going to be a tough decision to make, but I’m going to start thinking of that at the end of the season.”
Which is what every player is pretty much going to say right now, they are going to keep their options open.