Goran Dragic Rumors: Suns Willing To Trade PG For First Round Pick?

Feb 6, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic (1) dribbles against the Utah Jazz at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 6, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic (1) dribbles against the Utah Jazz at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

With the latest Goran Dragic rumors surfacing, I’m reminded of the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. For those of you who had no childhood, a boy named Jack is told by his mother to sell their family cow when she stops giving milk. Jack winds up dealing the dried up cow for three magic beans, which wind up turning into a magic beanstalk.

On a team with three point guards, someone’s got to be the cow with declining value. But if you’re thinking Dragic is the useless cow that needs to be dealt away in this metaphor, you’ve got it backwards.

According to Milwaukee Bucks beat writer Gery Woelfel, the Phoenix Suns would demand a first round draft pick for their fan favorite Dragic:

The obvious takeaway from the latest chatter on the Dragon is that a first round draft pick — especially one from the Houston Rockets, which would likely be in the late 20s — seems like pretty poor compensation for a point guard who has improved every season, who is beloved by the fans, who earned Third Team All-NBA honors last season and who became the closest thing to Steve Nash‘s successor.

However, take this news with a grain of salt. Not every trade rumor that pops up around this time of year turns out to be true, and even the ones that are true don’t always lead to an actual trade. If Suns general manager Ryan McDonough was asking for a first rounder for Miles Plumlee, surely he knows he can do better for a highly coveted piece like Dragic.

Furthermore, these same kinds of rumors popped up at this same time last year, when people were still questioning how Dragic and Eric Bledsoe could co-exist in the same backcourt. The trade chatter started again over the summer, especially after Bledsoe re-signed and Phoenix brought in Isaiah Thomas.

McDonough has shown he’s committed to the three point guard thing, but he also recently indicated to Arizona Sports 98.7 that changes might need to be made with the Suns in a 3-7 skid:

So what does this mean? Well, it’s an obvious shout-out to Phoenix’s three point guards. To this point, the Suns have been dead-set on re-signing Dragic — a free agent this summer — to a new contract.

Speaking with Arizonasports.com, president of basketball operations Lon Babby said of trading Dragic: “That’s like asking me if I want to be electrocuted with the AC or DC current.”

In the NBA, there are only a handful of players who are truly off limits. If the right deal comes along, the Suns should and would take it. But you’re not wrong for thinking if the Suns were to trade away a fan favorite and the team’s second best player this season, they could do a hell of a lot better than a (late) first round draft pick.

Bledsoe has become Phoenix’s best player this season, he’s younger than Dragic and his massive contract would make him much harder to move, so he’s not going anywhere. That leaves Isaiah Thomas and Dragic as Phoenix’s most attractive trade bait, especially for teams in need of a quality starting point guard.

Thomas’ deal is extremely team-friendly, which would make him easy to move. Dragic’s status as a free agent this summer would slightly diminish Phoenix’s return for a potential trade, but for like the fourth time, the Suns can do better than that.

In my opinion, I’d be surprised to see Dragic moved before the deadline unless he’s involved in a deal for a big-name player. Trading him for a draft pick wouldn’t help Phoenix hold on for the playoffs, even if it would clear that logjam in the backcourt.

For the shooting, ball-handling and passing he brings to the table and for his loyalty to the franchise, the Phoenix Suns would be making a mistake if this latest rumor turns out to be true. It would be waving the white flag on the season in an attempt to pile up more future assets.

This team needs to start moving forward now. Another draft pick on the league’s third-youngest team — one that already doesn’t have enough time for Archie Goodwin, T.J. Warren, Reggie Bullock, etc. — is pretty much useless compared to trying to re-sign the Dragon this summer.

Don’t get me wrong; I agree with McDonough that there’s a roster imbalance here, and a trade needs to be made. But a draft pick for a Dragon feels a bit like a lopsided, short-term, bad move. People always focus on Jack and his adventures, but what about the old man who traded away his magic beans for a useless cow?  The Suns probably don’t want to be that guy.

Next: Evaluating The Phoenix Suns Heading Into The All-Star Break