Fill in the blank time!
Goran Dragic’s future outlook with the Phoenix Suns is [insert one-word description here].
Each of the following words are acceptable: uncertain, bizarre, nonexistent, weird, quirky, punchdrunklove, confusing. There are other passable answers, but we’ll stop there for brevity’s sake.
Dragic has long been a rumor-mill staple. He’s slated for free agency this summer, and the Suns are flush with point guards. There’s a chance he could leave; ergo, there’s a chance the Suns trade him ahead of the Feb. 19 trade deadline.
Gery Woelfel previously went as far as saying the Suns even had an asking price in mind:
Hearing Suns want a first-rounder for Goran Dragic and, rest assured, they'll get it. Rockets got to be tempted.
— Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) February 12, 2015
This is weird because, well, Woelfel wouldn’t usually be the guy with that kind of information. The entire thing gets even weirder because Marc Stein of ESPN.com corroborated his findings to an extent, saying the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers planned to ramp up their pursuits of the prolific point guard.
Nothing concrete, though. In fact, Stein reports the Suns would prefer to trade Isaiah Thomas over Dragic, the flight risk.
As if that’s enough, the Suns’ general manager, Ryan McDonough, also dropped some cryptic knowledge on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, per ArizonaSports.com’s Adam Green:
I think our roster balance is a little off, and that’s my fault. We are a little too backcourt-heavy, especially in terms of guys who, you know, I think you’d define primarily as scorers in the backcourt. So I think at some point we’ll need to balance that out, try to get a little more size, a little more frontcourt scoring and rebounding.
Translation: “Yeah, one of Goran, Isaiah and Eric [Bledsoe] needs to go.”
But which one?
We should know soon enough, and not just because the NBA’s trade deadline is around the corner.
From Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski:
Sources: Goran Dragic's agent plans to meet w/ team officials Tuesday, but Phoenix's determination unchanged: Suns want to re-sign Dragic.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 16, 2015
Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck reiterated Wojnarowski’s sentiments:
Suns were active on the phones this weekend. The sense is they are ready to deal Dragic, rather than risk losing him to free agency.
— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) February 16, 2015
Here’s the dilemma: The Suns clearly want to keep Dragic, and they can promise him they’ll trade Thomas in order to increase his role. But that still doesn’t guarantee he’ll stay. The Suns will remain a fringe playoff team at best, and that’s what Dragic would be committing to. With the Rockets slated to have cap space this summer, and bigger markets like New York and Los Angeles expected to come calling, he could still bolt.
There’s also little point in maxing out Dragic when you already have so much invested in Eric Bledsoe. Thomas is on a more cap-friendly deal, and he’s younger. Point guard is the NBA’s deepest position and the Suns can have it filled even without Dragic. Not sure why they would want to funnel more than what’s necessary into their backcourt.
Alas, Dragic’s fate remains a mystery. Fear not, though, as clarity should be en route.
If not on the back side of Dragic’s meeting with the Suns, then most certainly by Feb. 19 at 3 p.m., when the trade deadline comes to pass.