This rumor comes with a warning, because I don’t want to misquote and mistranslate information a la the recent Donatas Motiejunas situation in Houston. Take it for what you will and read into it how you see fit by clicking on the following link.
According to a rough Google translation from Slovenian website Ekipa24.si, the Indiana Pacers put center Roy Hibbert and forward Chris Copeland on the table as they expressed interest into Phoenix Suns point guard Goran Dragic. Dragic was quoted by the website as saying that Indiana would also send money Phoenix’s way but that all indications pointed to him returning to the Suns after his summer with his national team.
Additionally, Dragic told the website that he’s been cleared to take part in five and not three exhibition games as Slovenia prepares for the 2014 World Cup in Spain. He will have a minutes restriction of 25 minutes, according to the site.
Back to the rumor. There was a brief whisper about such a trade last month. According to the report from ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Pacers engaged the Suns about the latter’s willingness to ship off their point guard. That deal wasn’t ever close and Indiana looked like it would involve a third team, but it was also never clear what the Pacers would offer Phoenix for Dragic. It made sense Indiana would explore Phoenix’s willingness to take part, and so does this more recent information. Indiana was put off by the tailspin of a season for Hibbert in 2013-14 and runs a great risk by hanging onto him if the center doesn’t turn things around. With the loss of Lance Stephenson, the Pacers would also need another ball handler to put beside Paul George.
All that said, there were very few reasons for the Suns to engage in serious talks.
Now George is injured, but it doesn’t seem that Indiana ever had a shot at Dragic unless it got a third team involved to sweeten the deal, so much so that the Suns simply couldn’t say ‘no’ to shipping off a All-NBA Third Team member and the face of the franchise.