Report: Dragic would prefer to play with fellow Slovenian Doncic in Dallas

Dallas Mavericks v Toronto Raptors
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Goran Dragic is away from the Raptors due to an undisclosed personal matter.

The expectation around the league is he will not return to an NBA court until the Raptors can trade him. While a number of teams could use a backup guard and more shot creation heading toward the playoffs, Dragic would prefer to join fellow Slovenian Luka Doncic in Dallas, reports Ira Winderman at the Sun-Sentinel.

“The sense is Goran works his way toward his preferred (and most viable) option of the Mavericks, to close out the season alongside Slovenian compatriot Luka Doncic…

“Goran already has proven amenable to a bench role, something he thrived in with the Heat.”

The Mavericks could use another shot creator, behind Doncic and Jalen Brunson (who is having a strong season off the bench), and Dragic would fill that role. The challenge for Dallas is matching salaries. Dragic makes $19.4 million this season (in an expiring deal), so Dallas would need to involve one player with an eight-figure salary to make this work, maybe someone like Dwight Powell.

If Dallas is uncomfortable throwing a player of that quality, they can wait for the buyout market in hopes that Dragic ends up on it. Meanwhile, Toronto will look for other trade destinations.

Dragic has played in just five games for the Raptors this season, averaging 8 points, 1.8 assists and 2.8 rebounds a game.