Conflicting reports emerge regarding Suns future of Goran Dragic

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The Suns have too many quality guards in Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe and Isaiah Thomas, all of whom will command significant salary commitments, either now or in the not-too-distant future.

Bledsoe was locked up last summer with a five-year deal worth $70 million, and the Suns completed a sign-and-trade for Thomas that will pay him in the neighborhood of $27 million for four seasons.

Dragic, meanwhile, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and should command the type of contract that Bledsoe netted from Phoenix last summer. But there’s no guarantee that the Suns want to lock up two guards with max contracts, and if they lowball Dragic (or he has more lucrative offers to play elsewhere), there’s a decent chance he could choose to leave, with the Suns receiving nothing in return as compensation.

All of this has Phoenix weighing its options as this Thursday’s Feb. 19 trade deadline approaches. But as the most recent reports indicate, it’s unclear which way the Suns may be leaning at this time.

From Howard Beck of Bleacher Report:

Suns were active on the phones this weekend. The sense is they are ready to deal Dragic, rather than risk losing him to free agency.

Re Dragic: It’s not that Suns don’t want to re-sign him. They do. But they’re worried he’ll leave in July anyway. Thus, exploring deals.

From Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports:

The Suns are inclined to keep Goran Dragic, a source said. Suns owner Robert Sarver attended agent Bill Duffy’s annual All-Star event Sunday. Duffy is Dragic’s agent.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Sources: Goran Dragic’s agent plans to meet w/ team officials Tuesday, but Phoenix’s determination unchanged: Suns want to re-sign Dragic.

If Phoenix isn’t willing to go all the way to a max contract offer with Dragic, then they should deal him if they can get a legitimate asset in return — like a first round pick, for example.

One thing that’s worth noting is that with the salary cap jumping up significantly in the 2016-17 season, a max contract issued before then won’t be nearly as damaging to a team’s financial flexibility once the new television rights deal kicks in. That may make Dragic a bargain by then, but if the Suns believe that their three-guard rotation isn’t in the team’s best long-term plans, then Dragic (or Thomas) may ultimately be gone, regardless.