Phoenix Suns should call Goran Dragic’s bluff
Call his bluff. Don’t trade him. The Phoenix Suns can offer Goran Dragic about $26 million more than any other team can in free agency. OK, so he is going to opt out — we all get that. But the Suns have 26 million reasons for him to stay in Phoenix.
I understand he is not happy. I wouldn’t be happy either if I was him and playing out of position. He was the point guard last year when the team won 48 games. The Suns had success and Dragic had success, he was All-NBA third team. So he is frustrated.
Get to the summer, find a trade partner for Isaiah Thomas and offer Dragic a max deal to stay in Phoenix. He is only 28 years old. He is tough, hard-nosed and a winner. The Lakers, Knicks and Heat all will offer him max money, but they can only offer a four-year deal and not a five-year deal like Phoenix can. The Rockets want him now and they want to keep him. He is a hot commodity because he is a really, really good basketball player.
Phoenix may want to trade him to get something for him before he walks for nothing. But what can they get? The Heat have nothing they should want, same with the Knicks. And the Lakers? OK, maybe the top-five pick or Julius Randle, but Randle is just going to be OK, nothing special. So no chance you get back anything remotely close to the talent you have with Dragic. And why would L.A., Miami or New York give up anything for Dragic when they can wait a few months and offer him a max deal? The Rockets may rent him and hope to convince him to stay because they wouldn’t be giving up much to get him — a 1st round pick from New Orleans (Yawn) and Donatas Motiejunas.
So keep him. Show him the love. Tell him that you understand his frustration, that you made a mistake with the balancing of the roster and vow to fix it. Goran Dragic is their best player. Don’t trade him for peanuts. Call his bluff.