Apr 9, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic (1) is defended by New Orleans Pelicans forward Darius Miller (2) and forward Tyreke Evans (1) as he goes up for a basket in the first quarter at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Who thinks Goran Dragic gets traded? Anyone?

The Dragon breathed fire… and everyone got burnt.

Goran Dragic stunned the NBA world when he took a team supposed to be a cellar-dweller a couple games away from the playoffs in the super competitive Western Conference. He was snubbed for the All-Star game but got his revenge as he made the All-NBA third team. This is the first Suns All-NBA player (1st, 2nd or 3rd team) since Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire were selected to the All-NBA team for the 2009-10 season.

What does Dragic’s future hold?

He is the best player on a near-playoff team and was named one of the best guards in the league. The Slovenian is already 28 years old and has had some occasional chronic injury issues from wear and tear as he put the team on his back. Bledsoe and Dragic both play the same position and Bledsoe is younger, but he’s had knee problems. However, the duo played quite well together last season.

Dragic is still due $7.5 million for the upcoming year with the season after that being a player option. Dragic will probably opt-out of that option and look to get a raise capitalizing on his All-NBA berth and fantastic play. It’s a chance to get in one large contract before he gets a few years past his peak. Though he’ll see a raise, he likely won’t hit the type of deal Bledsoe is about to earn.

According to the early results of our poll from yesterday, about 70 percent of Suns fans would rather see Bledsoe shipped out of town — that’s if one had to be traded. He’s arguably the most popular athlete in the Valley, and Phoenix would be hard-pressed to find a good reason to trade him.

Chances of Dragic being traded: 10 percent. The Phoenix Suns need a superstar. Maybe to swing a deal it’s Dragic on the way out. Maybe it’s Bledsoe. The only scenario where Dragic gets traded is if the Suns are to acquire a player the caliber of Kevin Love. The chances of all that happening are quite low. He’ll be starting for your Phoenix Suns next season. And the Dragon will breathe fire again.

  • Ralph Lewis

    If the Suns trade Dragic, they will lose me as a fan! They traded him once and he returned. They are two faced if they trade him.

  • KlausFlouride

    Nobody is untouchable on this team. The Suns simply do not have that kind of talent right now. With that said, it would be hard to imagine that the Suns would trade Dragich after what Sarver did to get him back. The fact that Dragich came back at a discount, speaks volumes of the kind of person that he is and also exemplifies the kind of player that McD wants on this team.

  • DBreezy

    Chances Goran or Bledsoe get moved before the season? Pretty low imo as it would have to be a blockbuster. Beyond that I would say that it’s murky. While we fans and the sites we read sit here and debate whom to trade, I think we kind of drive past the point that no one in the Suns organization seems to be in a rush to quash these rumors. In fact, I tend to think that they like letting the trade Goran and Bled rumor linger as it let’s people know they’re available without proclaiming which one they’d prefer to move if they had to.

    So sure it’s unlikely that a Love deal goes down for a number of reasons, but the Suns definitely appear willing to move one of these guys so how do you give odds beyond this summer? I think it’s higher than 10% for either but I wouldn’t know where to ballpark it right now. I’m sure that the other moves that the Suns and other teams make this summer to improve will weigh on it as well as if the Suns can replicate their success out of the gate next season. If the Suns are just kind of floundering along early on and it’s not due to some injury, I think their willingness to move a lot of people will increase.

    • 4everis2long

      I see there is a rumor Sac Town is offering the Suns their #8 draft pick for Bledsoe.

      • coachj

        Really? Is that on some Sac fan site, because it sounds like wishful thinking. Right now, if you threw Bledsoe into this draft knowing what you know about him, where would you pick him?

        My guess is that SAC might want to trade for him, but we would need far more than the 8th pick to even listen to that… Do they have anything we want? And if you say Cousins, I will personally find where you live and come over there and kick you in your SAC.

        • 4everis2long

          Whoa Cj this is just a reported rumor. Slow your emotions as I am not a proponent of the alleged offer so easy with the threats. By the way it was not reported on a Sac website. Personally there are very few people I would trade Bledsoe for outside of LBJ, Anthony Davis and Durant.

          • coachj

            what? you don’t like puns? geez. Fine, if you don’t want me to kick you in your SAC, then I will kick you in your mento’s.

          • 4everis2long

            Whatever CJ you are all mouth.

          • coachj

            i think you are taking me seriously… i was not being serious at any point. I wasn’t being emotional earlier either, as i haven’t really disagreed with you on any of this… I was merely stating that I believed that to have been something a Sacramento fan site wrote about and was mocking them. I also got a dig in on Cousins, cause i really don’t like that guy. Nothing was really directed at you or anything you actually said…

          • 4everis2long

            Point well taken Coach. Thanks for the additional insight.

          • coachj

            and I agree, although I might be intrigued to trade Bledsoe for Aldridge… maybe

      • DBreezy

        I saw that and with Love appearing to be on his way to GS or a team that can offer a similar deal it’s time to do so more thinking in the USAC arena offices. If the Suns don’t want to pay Bled the max or feel that they’re going to have to break up the Bled/Goran backcourt for financial and basketball (reasons) down the line anyway, they’ll have to carefully listen to offers. Bledsoe for the 8th isn’t a viable trade per the cba or logic, so if they’re interested in it Sac would have to give assets from their team or another party.

        The most interesting thing to me about the proposed GS/Minny deal is that it doesn’t seem contingent on Minny getting any more picks in this draft. That could mean that teams with multiple picks in 2014 holding them out for Love, could begin to get active exploring other potential deals. I’m interested to see what comes out of the woodwork.

        • 4everis2long

          DB supposedly Minny also wants the Warriors 2015 draft pick, which may be a deal breaker. As for the Bled proposal I doubt it ever happens as not even a max contract would entice him to play for that team. I lived there for 3 years and it is not that great a place especially if you are single. Rudy Gay is even hesitant about staying there. Not to mention there is nothing of value IMO to take from that squad. If McD is not being shy about winning 55 games, I doubt he thinks he can do that by trading Bled or Dragic this summer. My bet says he keeps both, get the Suns in the playoffs to make the team more attractive next summer for free agents. While I am a bit surprised he announced a 55 win goal, that seems inconsistent with trading either guard.

          • DBreezy

            Yes I know about the 2015 draft Foreveris, that’s why I said they don’t seem to want any picks in this year’s draft. If that’s the case, I would assume that teams with multiple picks in 2014 who have been watching this situation would begin to start fleshing out other potential deals.

            I doubt the Bled to Sac thing happens either, but if I’m McD and I know Babby is going to make me move one of Goran or Bled in the next year or so, I definitely listen to what they and any others have to offer. The old Suns would just sit on their hands in such situations until Goran walks for nothing in a year. I don’t think SAC or MIN would deal for Bled in an extend and trade. They would trade for him before he entered RFA so that they control his rights. I doubt he would just accept the qualifying offer in that situation no matter how much he hated his new team. Just like Eric Gordon didn’t, and much like Gordon Bledsoe has knee problems to think about.

            As for 55 wins, we’ll see if they’re saying that this fall if their no major changes to this squad outside of draftees and a defensive 4 signing. Rudy Gay probably should stay in Sacramento too. He’s not the star he thought he was, but they have DeMarcus who can bear the offensive load like Gasol and Randolph did for him in MEM. They have young B-Mac, Thomas and they should get a player at 8 in this draft. Plus they seem to have solid ownership with $$$ and big ambitions. The West is tough, but he could do a lot worse as that team is mostly better defense and better play away from Arco from being pretty tough.

          • DBreezy

            I also see that DX has then taking McDermott at 8. Don’t know about that D, but that could be a good Ryan Anderson type of fit for them offensively. If B-Mac improves they could really space the floor for Cousins who is a load one on one.

  • coachj

    Only way is if we trade one of them for an upper tier Alpha player. But who would that be? Looking around the league, other than Kevin Love, there aren’t a lot of guys you would be able to pry from teams for one or the other [packaged with picks].

    Think about it. First let’s eliminate the Wolves from the equation here because this has been discussed on other articles.

    First, you have two problems when thinking of fair value for either of them. First, Bledsoe is not currently re-signed. Without that complete, we have no $ number to assign to him and teams would need him locked in a contract to give anything of value for him. We can assume a SNT for now. For Dragic, he has one year left, so he would be a rental, which truly devalues him. I do not think you can make a ENT assumption here.

    So the most likely candidate for a trade is actually Bledsoe, because they can have talks with teams and Bledsoe at the same time and get a handle on how the components work.

    Realistically, if we trade Bledsoe, we do so either believing he is not worth Max money, and we would end up trading him for less value because of that, or we believe he is a max deal guy and we would need MAX return on a deal. I think the Suns believe the latter. In that case, who would we want back in a deal. Certainly not mid-tier starters. If you look around the league, these are what I would consider to be the upper tier starters on their respective teams. I did not include guys like Duncan and Nowitski because we are not trading for an old guy, and they aren’t going anywhere.

    Frankly looking at the list and I am not convinced to give Bledsoe up for hardly any of them.

    Al Horford [$12] – Injury prone and not really an Alpha – good player though
    Paul Milsap [9.5] – Again, good, but not great
    Rondo [12.9] – now way we swap a young guy for his washed up butt
    Derrick Rose [18.8] – CHI isn’t trading him
    Kyrie Irving [QO] – why do this swap?
    Andre Drummond [2.6] – I would definately consider this, but would they?
    Greg Monroe [QO] – on a QO and less attractive than Drummond
    Steph Curry [10.6] – GSW isn’t interested
    Dwight Howard [21.4] – Not gonna happen [NGH]
    James Harden [14.7] – NGH
    Omer Asik [8.3] – not good enough to justify. Maybe if you threw Chandler Parsons in together, I might be interested.
    Paul George [13.7] – Not gonna happen
    Roy Hibbert [14.9] – They might pull this deal, But I wouldn’t for the suns
    Blake Griffin [17.7] – NGH
    DeAndre Jordan [11.4] – unlikely to happen, not sure he is good enough without a better pairing on the frontcourt
    Chris Paul [20.1] -NGH
    Marc Gasol [15.8] – Again, unlikely they part with the “younger” Big. he’s 30. Better off signing Pau in FA.
    ZBo [16.9] – Why?
    Anthony Davis [5.6] – Absolutely, but NO won’t go for that
    Durant [18.9] – NGH
    Westbrook [15.7] – NGH this year, but maybe in a year of two.
    Ibaka [12.3] – Not enough for Bledsoe
    Victor Oladipo [4.9] – Jury is still out on him
    Thaddeus Young [9.4] – Quality player, but not enough…
    MCW [2.3] – Bigger PG? Intruiging, but not sure of his ceiling
    Nerlens Noel [3.3] – Huge gamble
    Lamarcus Aldridge [16.0] – NGH
    Damian Lillard [3.3] – NGH
    Demarcus Cousins [13.7] – Ugh!
    Kawhi Leonard [2.9] – Would the Spurs trade their future? NGH
    DeMar Derozan [9.5] – Tracy McGrady Jr? Or Rudy Gay Jr?
    Gordon Hayward [QO] – Not enough and on QO
    Derrick Favors [13.0] – Decent trade if you get their picks, but they like Burke.
    John Wall [13.7] – Another PG swap, plus NGH
    Brad Beal [4.5] – Intruiging, but unlikely Wiz break up their backcourt for a backcourt player

    So, I do not see any real trade partner here IMO.

    • DBreezy

      Expanding on your point about Goran being in his last year before his option year his situation is somewhat similar to Marcin’s a year ago. Goran is currently underpaid relative to his market value and by a good margin. In an extension Goran could only receive 107.5% of his salary in the last year of the deal which means he could only get about 8.1M in the first year of the extension. Each year after that he could receive 7.5% raises, but that would only get him to about 9.4M in the last year of the extension. That’s well below what he could get on the market which is why he’ll opt out. But to make matters worse, if he were moved in an extend and trade deal he could only receive 4.5% raises in the extension and throughout the length of the extension. As an aside, this partly shows why Kevin Love really must hate Minnesota. Back to Goran though, I’m not even sure his contract qualifies for an extend and trade anyway unless he opts into the 4th year of his deal. Contracts less than 4 years cannot be extended per the cba.

      As for getting any extend and trade with Bledsoe, it can be done but there really isn’t any benefit to him for doing so as rookie scale contracts can be extended by the original or acquiring team. In fact if we’re talking about any deal with Minny for Love, I tend to think that Bledsoe would not be extended by the Suns as part of that transaction. Although it would make it easier for salary matching since the Wolves are over the cap, any deal constructed that way would give Bled a defacto veto on the deal. All he would have to do is say that he’s not signing the extension and will either test the market or accept the qualifier and the deal blows up. Seeing as Minny has been such a popular destination for players, I don’t think it would be wise for either side to setup a deal that way. McD also has to remember the trouble they had in Boston when the very public Marion for KG three way deal with the Suns got torched because of Marion’s disinterest in playing in BOS.

      • coachj

        well said.