FRIDAY, 8:36pm: Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic adds the Cavs to the list of teams interested in Dragic, and reports that Dragic’s current salary is approximately $1.4MM. It would take upwards of $2MM in annual salary to pry the younger Dragic guard from his current club in Coro’s estimation, considering the earnings and covered living expenses provided by his current team. The Arizona Republic scribe pegs Dragic’s NBA escape clause at $1.1MM, which lines up with an earlier report that the buyout exceeds $971K.
WEDNESDAY, 7:49am: The Suns, Pacers and Kings are the teams most aggressively going after Dragic, Stein tweets, expanding on his report about Phoenix’s heavy pursuit from a few days ago. Talks are expected to intensity now that Dragic’s World Cup obligations are over, Stein adds (Twitter links). Phoenix, Indiana and Sacramento all have the capacity to exceed the minimum salary.
TUESDAY, 4:51pm: The Heat, Magic, Spurs and Mavs are maintaining dialogues with Spanish-league shooting guard Zoran Dragic, reports Shams Charania of RealGM. Marc Stein of ESPN.com wrote earlier this week that the Suns were one of the three teams with the most interest in signing the 25-year-old, but it’s not clear if they remain in the running. The Pacers, too, have appeared to be in pursuit of Dragic of late, while the Rockets were reportedly the leading contender for him in May.
Several NBA teams scouted Dragic in the World Cup the past couple of weeks, Charania writes, a run that ended when his Slovenian team lost this afternoon to Team USA. New teams are inquiring about him with each passing day, the RealGM scribe adds. Dragic is the younger brother of Goran Dragic, who appears poised to opt out his deal next summer and hit free agency, and teams are already lining up to try to poach Goran from the Suns.
Zoran Dragic averaged 10.6 points in 20.3 minutes per game for Unicaja Malaga this past season but he reportedly possesses a strong desire to come to the NBA. He’d have to sign with an NBA team by Oct. 5th, according to Charania, and cover a buyout greater than the equivalent of $971K to break free from Unicaja Malaga this year, as Stein wrote in his report this week. That would appear to give the Spurs and Magic an edge on the Heat and Mavs, since Miami and Dallas can’t exceed the minimum salary and thus can’t give him more than the Excluded International Player Payment Amount of $600K toward his buyout.