Indiana Pacers, I'm told, have tried to engage Phoenix in trade talks for Goran Dragic, but teams have found no common deal ground. Yet— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 3, 2014
Dragic is coming off the best season of his career, when he averaged 20.3 points and 5.9 assists. The 28-year-old is slated to make $7.5 million next season and has a $7.5 million player option for 2015-16.
Why this makes sense
The Pacers are looking for an upgrade for point guard George Hill, and Dragic would be a massive improvement at a cheaper price for next season. While Dragic would likely opt out of his contract after next year in search of a big pay day, having the guard at that bargain price for next year could be worth it for Indiana. The Pacers also might be trying to engage in these talks with the belief that the Suns don't want to pay both Dragic and Eric Bledsoe big money:
Something to keep an eye on, though, with Indy known to covet an upgrade at PG and stubborn perception Suns can't afford Bledsoe AND Dragic— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 3, 2014
Bledsoe will likely get a max, or close to a max, contract this summer.
Why this doesn't make sense
This rumor reads like the Pacers calling up the Suns to ask about Dragic, and Phoenix just laughing and hanging up. Or maybe asking for Paul George. There's just little reason for the Suns to do this:
ATTN: NBA. HANDS OFF OUR DRAGON. HE’S NOT FOR SALE. WE HATCHED HIM, RAISED HIM, SENT HIM OUT AND BROUGHT HIM HOME. BACK OFF!!!— BrightSideoftheSun (@BrightSideSun) July 3, 2014
Perhaps this stems from the "impasse" with Lance Stephenson and the Pacers would look to sign-and-trade Stephenson in a deal for Dragic. Or maybe Roy Hibbert would be involved. But it's truly hard to imagine the Suns going for that. At this point, paying an expensive Dragic would be better than paying an expensive Stephenson or Hibbert. The belief that Phoenix can't afford Dragic and Bledsoe is a bit overblown as well considering its cap situation.
Sweet idea, Indiana. Because this is the NBA, I can't say there's absolutely no chance a deal happens. But this is a major long shot, so I'm giving this one a 1/10 chance.