FRIDAY, 7:43am: Dragic feels better about his situation in Phoenix this year than he did last, a source tells Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype. He’s happy where he isn’t thinking much about free agency, but he’s confident that he’ll attract strong offers this summer, the source also said.
MONDAY, 1:09pm: The Rockets have tried to trade for Goran Dragic this season, according to USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick. It’s unclear how recently GM Daryl Morey has sought the Suns guard, and whether it came before or after Houston’s trade for Corey Brewer and signing of Josh Smith, but the Rockets’ interest in Dragic appears to be longstanding. Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported in September that Houston was considering a free agent run at Dragic next summer, when the seventh-year veteran has said he plans to turn down his $7.5MM player option for 2015/16. Dragic reiterated recently to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News that he intends to opt out, and he wouldn’t rule out playing with any team, including the Lakers, who are known to be interested in pairing Dragic with Kobe Bryant, as Zillgitt and Amick write.
“Any player that is one of the best players in the league would be cool to play with. Kobe is a legend,” Dragic said to Medina. “I know how awesome it is to be around those superstars. If you’re patient enough and you listen, you learn a lot.”
Dragic has had similar praise for the Knicks, as it seems the point guard doesn’t want to close off any potential avenues in free agency, which jibes with what Sean Deveney of The Sporting News heard in November. GMs from around the league told Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher earlier this season that the Suns were open to trading the 28-year-old native of Slovenia. However, rival executives have had the impression that Phoenix would be more willing to part with Eric Bledsoe or Isaiah Thomas amid multiple inquiries on all three, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, who wrote last month.
Dragic’s numbers have tailed off this season after a career year in 2013/14, though that’s no surprise given the crowded situation in the backcourt for the Suns, who signed Bledsoe and Thomas to long-term deals this past summer. Suns GM Ryan McDonough said after the Bledsoe signing that he and the Suns “fully anticipate taking care of” Dragic, who’s in his second stint with the Suns after leaving the Rockets to sign with Phoenix in 2012.