Goran Dragic told the Suns he didn’t plan to re-sign in Phoenix this summer.
Then, he turned up the heat about a thousand degrees by saying on the record of the Suns’ front office: “I don’t trust them.”
Chris Broussard of ESPN:
It’s unclear whether Sarver is refusing to trade Dragic to his desired destinations – the Lakers, Knicks or Heat – or refusing to trade him at all. A previous report said the Suns (wisely) would try to trade Dragic. But that was before Dragic went public with his sharp front-office criticism, and the owner can always overrule the plan in basketball operations.
But let’s be clear: Unless Broussard is reporting new information rather than just using sloppy wording – and I think the latter is more likely – Dragic did not request a trade. He reportedly told the Suns only that he didn’t plan to re-sign next season. It’s a fine line, but I think there is a difference in the ethics of the situation. Dragic is not quitting on the Suns. He’s not refusing to honor his contract, which runs through the rest of this season – with Phoenix. He’s just informing the Suns of his future plans, which is actually a favor to them. Of course broadcasting that plan to the world doesn’t help Phoenix’s leverage in trade talks, but I don’t think Dragic should be obligated to keep his desire a secret.
So, if Sarver goes overboard to punish Dragic, the owner will only make Dragic’s complaints look correct. And Dragic will just leave in the summer, anyway – probably.
The Suns could offer more money, and that could help both sides reconcile. The ability to offer more money could also persuade the Rockets, Celtics, Kings and/or Pacers to trade for Dragic.
That’s why I don’t put much stock in the “no way” comment. Posturing gives Dragic the best chance of joining one of his preferred teams. But if he’s traded elsewhere, he might not actually turn down money to bolt this summer.