Goran Dragic made comments indicating that he plans to decline his player option for 2015/16 as he spoke to Jaka Lopatič of the Slovenian website Planet Siol.net (translation via Dave King of Bright Side of the Sun). Dragic can turn down the $7.5MM he’s set to make that season and hit free agency next summer.
King interprets Dragic’s comments to indicate that he intends to re-sign with the Suns, but that doesn’t seem entirely clear, and as with any foreign-language report, there’s a chance some of the meaning is lost in translation. Either way, rival teams are already lining up to target the 28-year-old guard in the wake of his best season, with last week’s report indicating that the Rockets are considering a run at him and that the Lakers among those likely to enter the fray.
The Suns made Dragic a full-time starter for the first time in his career after he inked with the team in 2012, and he set career highs in scoring and assists. His points per game leaped again this past season, to 20.3 from 14.7 in 2013/14. That was in part because coach Jeff Hornacek moved him to shooting guard so he could pair with Eric Bledsoe. With fewer ball-distributing responsibilities, Dragic not only set a career high in field goal attempts but also in field goal percentage, connecting on 50.5% of his shots from the floor. His 40.8% three-point accuracy was also his best mark to date.
It remains to be seen whether the BDA Sports Management client can duplicate that production, particularly with Bledsoe still unsigned, but Dragic will be near the top of the 2015 free agent class if he can. The Suns are in prime position to shell out whatever it takes to keep Dragic, since they have his Bird rights and only about $17MM in commitments for 2015/16. The Suns are also reportedly among a trio of teams with especially keen interest in signing Spanish-league shooting guard Zoran Dragic, Goran’s brother.