It’s no secret that Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic may very well opt out of the final year of his current contract and try to find something better than the $7.5 million he’d earn in 2015-16.
Apparently, other teams around the NBA are aware of that fact, and some have reportedly reached out to the Suns to see if they’d like to get something in exchange for the seven-year guard now — rather than risk losing him for nothing in the offseason.
CBS Sports’ Ken Berger reported Saturday that “multiple teams” have inquired about breaking up the Suns’ point guard trio of Dragic, Eric Bledsoe and Isaiah Thomas, with Dragic getting the most attention.
However, Berger reports several executives have gotten the impression that the Slovenian standout is the one Phoenix would like to hold onto the most, if the team were to even make a move at all. Additionally, the NBA insider notes the Suns fully intend to re-sign the 28-year-old Dragic next summer.
The team to watch here is Houston, which has been after Dragic since he left as a free agent in 2012. Dragic can, and will, opt out of his $7.5 million contract for next season.
Phoenix already has a lot of money wrapped up in the point guard position, with Bledsoe owed $70 million over five years and Thomas $27 million over four years. Berger said a move that could impact the whole league gives the Suns some hope to retain Dragic at the salary he’d desire after this season.
The anticipated rise in the salary cap resulting from the NBA’s $24 billion TV deal has bolstered Phoenix’s hopes of re-signing Dragic.
The 2008 second-round draftee is averaging 16.0 points, 4.1 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game while shooting 49.3 percent from the floor through 27 games this season. He was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player a season ago, as he put up numbers of 20.3 points, 5.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds per contest while making more than 50 percent of his field goals.
While the Suns were in New York on Saturday to face the struggling Knicks, Dragic was asked if he’d be amenable to donning the orange and blue after this season. The New York Daily News documented his positive response:
“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.”
The 6-foot-3 performer contrasted those remarks by reiterating how happy he is in the Valley and making it clear that New York isn’t his lone target.
“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.”