NBA trade rumor: Phoenix Suns could feel pressure to trade Goran Dragic, per report

Christian Petersen

The Suns new backcourt is performing well, but playing Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe together might not be part of their long-term plan.

The Phoenix Suns' starting backcourt of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe is not expected to be a long-term solution for the team, and rival executives believe the Suns may feel pressure to trade Dragic, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports. Dragic has a $7.5 million player option for the 2015-2016 season and sources believe he will decline it, putting Phoenix in position to trade him ahead of time.

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Phoenix acquired Bledsoe last summer and have opted to play him next to Dragic, though Bledsoe can play either guard position. The Suns have done surprisingly well this season and currently sit at 19-12 as the seventh seed in the Western Conference.

The next two seasons will likely involve decisions to set the foundation of their rebuild. Bledsoe is a restricted free agent this summer and could be a costly player to retain. The team was unable to work out an extension with him but will match "any reasonable offer" he receives this summer. Bledsoe is averaging a career-high 18 points and 5.8 assists per game in his first season as a full-time starter.

Dragic, meanwhile, is also having a career year in his fifth season with the Suns. He's averaging 18.9 points per game on 49.1 percent shooting, both career-highs, and has been key in the team's huge turnaround on offense. The Suns have improved from the second-worst offense in the NBA last season to the tenth-best this season, according to When Dragic and Bledsoe are on the floor together the Suns average 106.6 points per 100 possessions while holding teams to 98.5 points per 100 possessions, yielding a 4.9 net improvement per 100 possessions over their team average.

The duo is performing even if they aren't part of Phoenix's long-term strategy.

The Suns still have plenty of time to decide on what their plan is with both Bledsoe and Dragic, but it's an interesting situation to keep an eye on. Dragic's trade value could be high with his $7.5 million annual salary, at least one guaranteed season with him in 2014-2015 and potential flexibility going into the 2015-2016 season.

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