The Rockets are the leaders among many NBA teams interested in Spanish league shooting guard Zoran Dragic, reports Lefteris Moutis of Eurohoops.net. Unicaja Malaga is likely to pick up its team option on Dragic this summer, but the contract includes a $500K NBA buyout. That figure is within the NBA’s Excluded International Player Payment Amount of $600K for next season, so the buyout probably won’t be a stumbling block. An NBA deal is more likely to hinge on playing time for the brother of Suns guard Goran Dragic, as Zoran Dragic is seeking a significant role right away, Moutis writes.
Dragic played for Houston’s summer league team in 2012, around the time his brother left the Rockets to sign with the Suns. It’s unlikely he’ll play in an NBA summer league again this year, Moutis writes. He’s set to undergo hernia surgery after the Spanish league playoffs, and that will knock him out for a month. Once healthy, he’ll join the Slovenian national team as it prepares for this summer’s World Cup of basketball, as Moutis documents.
An enhanced role in Unicaja Malaga’s offense allowed Dragic’s numbers to jump this season, as he put up 10.6 points on 8.1 shots per game after posting just 4.9 PPG on 3.9 shots a contest in 2012/13. He also improved his three-point stroke, going from woeful 22.5% accuracy last year to 32.7% this season, but that still makes him a below-average shooter who’d seemingly have trouble fitting in with Houston, which places a premium on the trey. He went undrafted in 2011 and turns 25 in June, so it’s worth wondering just how much potential he possesses. Perhaps teams are considering him with an eye toward his brother, who can become a free agent next summer.