There is some logic to why Goran Dragic trade rumors will fly everywhere until the trade deadline Thursday (Feb. 19): He is an unrestricted free agent this summer, he could walk and the Suns would get nothing in return, so they should move him now and at least get something. Besides, with three score-first guards (Dragic, Eric Bledsoe and Isaiah Thomas) the Suns need a big to balance the roster.
However, the far, far more likely option is Phoenix keeps him.
He is key to the Suns’ offense and if they want to cling to the eight seed in the West (they are just half a game ahead of the Thunder for that last playoff spot) they need him. The Suns and Dragic are talking about all of this, reported Adian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
The real problem with the Suns making a Dragic trade under deadline pressure is they would almost certainly come out the losers — they would not get anywhere near equal value back. They could use a rim-protecting big man, but the teams that have those are not giving them up. Zach Lowe broke it all down at Grantland.
The Suns want to make the playoffs. Even if they’re afraid Dragic walks, they can’t afford to toss him away without getting a real player in return.
It’s very hard to find a good big man on a team that might be willing to deal for Dragic on an expiring contract. The Rockets loom, and while the Lakers always bank on the glitz of L.A., I’m not sure Jordan Hill cuts it as a frontcourt upgrade for Phoenix. As I reported in December, other teams have long felt that Phoenix would prefer dealing Isaiah Thomas; he has three years left on a contract that declines in value every season, and that opens up a broader trade market.
The Suns will listen to Dragic trade calls this week, but likely not make a move. Not unless someone unexpectedly blows their doors off. Then this summer they will work to re-sign Dragic followed by trading Thomas to fill a need.