Nearly 6,000 miles from his home country Slovenia, Goran Dragic came to Phoenix as the 45th overall pick in 2008 with plenty to prove, one of few Slovenian born players now in the NBA.
Originally drafted by the San Antonio Spurs, Dragic had two stints in Phoenix, and while the relationship between him and the Suns did not end well, Goran Dragic’s career was undoubtedly born, and brought to life as a Sun.
Dragic entered the league at the same time Steve Nash was in Phoenix. Like Nash, Dragic would leave the Suns after two years in The Valley, and later come back.
Traded for by the Suns after the draft as a potential eventual replacement to the aging superstar Nash, Dragic played just 13.2 and 18.0 MPG his first two seasons, learning from the two-time MVP.
His “big bro” as Dragic referred to him in a 2014 Instagram post, Nash showed Dragic the ropes of the NBA, putting together one of his best seasons in 2009-2010, averaging 16.5 PPG and 11.0 APG, one of his four 11.0+ APG seasons in his career.
Dragic showed a glimpse of his scoring ability in a playoff game against the San Antonio Spurs in May of 2010, when he scored 26 points in the second half, 23 of which came in the fourth quarter. The Suns were down by 18 at one point, but the flurry of Dragic three’s (5/5 3pt FG’s) gave Phoenix a 3-0 lead.
In 2011 Dragic, along with a first-round pick, was traded to the Houston Rockets at the trade deadline for Aaron Brooks. Dragic started just 31 games as a Rocket, playing 24.2 MPG averaging 10.7 PPG and 4.6 APG.
That trade can certainly be looked back upon as one of the worst the Suns made in recent history, seeing that Brooks played just 25 games with the Suns.
But after receiving limited playing time and not having an integral role in the Rockets lineup, Goran Dragic resigned as a Phoenix Sun in the summer of 2012. The franchise had suffered no loss, getting Dragic back on a four-year $30 million deal.