The Suns are among a group of three NBA teams with keener interest than others in Spanish-league shooting guard Zoran Dragic, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Dragic would have to sign with an NBA team before the start of the Spanish season and pay a buyout greater than the equivalent of $971K to escape from his contract with Unicaja Malaga, Stein adds.
Such a buyout would exceed the NBA’s $600K Excluded International Player Payment Amount, so the overflow amount would count against the cap for any NBA team that signs Dragic. However, the Suns have plenty of cap flexibility, and it appears that they would still be able to retain cap room even if they re-sign Eric Bledsoe to a max contract, which doesn’t appear likely at this point.
The 25-year-old Dragic “badly wants” to play in the NBA, as Stein wrote last month, and joining Phoenix would mean pairing with his brother, Goran Dragic, whom teams are already eyeing as a potential 2015 free agent should he opt out of his contract next summer. Inking Zoran Dragic would ostensibly help the Suns keep his brother, as Stein points out, though the Rockets, who were reportedly at the head of the pack for Zoran Dragic as of May, are one of the teams considering a run at Goran Dragic a year from now. Orazio Cauchi of Sportando more recently identified the Pacers as another suitor for Zoran Dragic.