By all accounts, it appears that Suns guard Goran Dragic is fed up Phoenix's three point guard rotation, which has decreased his numbers across the board since making third-team All-NBA last year, and wants out. The free agent to be reportedly Lakers, Knicks or Heat, though the Celtics and Kings have thrown themselves into the conversation as well.
From ESPN's Marc Stein:
Sources say that the Celtics, in particular, are emerging as a dark-horse contender for Dragic, given the numerous future draft picks Boston president Danny Ainge has amassed in recent months to offer Phoenix as well as his strong relationship with Suns general manager Ryan McDonough. Boston and Phoenix have already completed one trade this season, with Ainge dealing center Brandan Wright to the Suns last month.
Though it seems increasingly unlikely, there remains the possibility that the Suns could simply hold onto Dragic and try to convince him to stay in the offseason. Dragic does have a $7.5 million player option for next season (though he's expected to decline that and pursue a new deal in the five-year, $80 million range), and the Suns have his brother Zoran under contract now. Phoenix has made it clear that they would prefer to hang onto Dragic and deal Thomas.
Suns could choose to stay on course of recent days: Trade Isaiah Thomas, then spend rest of season convincing Dragic to stay. Risky, though.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 18, 2015
All signs still point to Dragic being in a different uniform after Thursday's trade deadline, but if Phoenix is feeling bold, trading Isaiah Thomas becomes a near-must. If that happens, the Celtics could still be in the picture.
Thomas is one of the leading candidates for the league's sixth man award, averaging 15.2 points and 3.7 assists this season in 25.7 minutes off the bench. His shooting (39.1 percent from 3-point range) would give the Celtics some much-needed spacing, and he'd be an upgrade over Evan Turner.
But Thomas has another three years on his deal, which he just signed this past summer, and Marcus Smart appears to be the point guard of the future. Handing the reins to Dragic (or adopting the dual point guard system with Smart) is one thing, but is Thomas worth moving Smart off the ball more?
On the other hand, Thomas is on a reasonable contract (around $7 million per year) and under contract for three more years, while Dragic always has the option to walk. He could see Smart as a threat and balk at the idea of playing for the Celtics long term.
Thanks to the Celtics treasure trove of first-round picks, Danny Ainge has the ability to throw Boston into any trade conversation. The Celtics have reportedly shown interest in both Phoenix guards, and one figures to be moved in the next 36 hours. Whether Boston is the destination remains to be seen.
Photo credit: Rick Scuteri, Associated Press ImagesDan Hoppen 2/18/2015 11:04:00 AM Tweet Edit