Every team in the NBA has February 7th circled on their calendars. February 7th is the NBA trade deadline—which comes about a week before All-Star Weekend. Teams have to decide if they want to buy, sell, or simply stay pat when the deadline approaches. One of the teams who will likely be sellers at the deadline is the Miami Heat.
They’ve been rumored to be possibly moving Hassan Whiteside, Wayne Ellington, and if the offer is right for any of them. We’ll just focus on Dragic for the time being.
Most people—due to playing NBA 2K19—have a misconception that you can’t trade an injured player. In the NBA, you can absolutely trade an injured player.
Dragic is currently nursing a knee injury that required him to get surgery recently. He is expected to make his return around the All-Star break.
If an NBA team does choose to trade for Dragic, they will need to get a physical evaluation of him and be pleased with the results. We’ve seen some trades fall through due to a team being disappointed in the results of a player’s physical (look at the Donatas Motiejunas trade).
Now let’s dive into what teams could be interested in acquiring the veteran point-guard despite his injury.
3. Orlando Magic
It was just a couple of years ago when the Orlando Magic drafted Elfrid Payton with the 10th overall pick (via the Philadelphia 76ers) in the 2014 NBA draft. The Magic thought they had their point guard of the future on their roster.
Payton never really panned in his four seasons with the franchise. In 2017, the Magic decided to trade Payton to the Phoenix Suns for a second-round draft pick.
That type of compensation shows the level of disappointment that the organization had with Payton. Since then, they’ve been searching for a player who can become a mainstay at their point guard position.
Goran Dragic isn’t exactly young at 32 years old but could be a nice piece for a young Magic team. Having a veteran point guard who could facilitate and help develop the young guys could prove to be beneficial.
In 14 games played this season, Dragic is averaging 15.3 points and 4.9 assists per game. That level of production could boost a struggling Orlando squad.
As of right now, the Magic currently start D.J. Augustin with Jerian Grant coming off of the bench. Thus, making the point guard position a necessity for the Magic. If Miami decides to move Goran Dragic at the deadline, don’t rule out the possibility of him staying in the state of Florida.
2. Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers could be an interesting team to pay attention to when the trade deadline rolls around. They currently sit at third place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 31-15. With Victor Oladipo out for the season suffering a quad injury, it would be helpful to acquire someone like Dragic.
When you look at their roster, their biggest weakness is definitely their point guard position. Darren Collison currently starts, who is averaging a career-worst 9.5 points per game and 5.6 assists.
This Pacers team is deep but they could absolutely use a better starting point guard. When Ben Simmons, Kyrie Irving, Kyle Lowry, and Eric Bledsoe are in your conference, you’d be wise to try to have a talented point guard.
Goran Dragic could bring a huge improvement at the point guard spot if he were acquired by the Pacers. A lineup of Dragic, Tyreke Evans, Bojan Bogdanovic, Thaddeus Young, and Myles Turner could be surprisingly good.
The depth of Indiana is a huge reason why they are much improved this season. Collison could round out a nice bench of Domantas Sabonis, Doug McDermott, and Aaron Holiday.
The Pacers would be wise to try and make a move to improve their point guard position if they still want to make a run in the playoffs despite the unfortunate injury to Oladipo.
1. Phoenix Suns
Everyone that knows basketball can agree on one thing. The Phoenix Suns absolutely need to improve their point guard position soon. Goran Dragic would help.
The Suns aren’t in a position to win anytime soon but with their young talent on the roster, a point guard will be needed. With Devin Booker, T.J Warren, and DeAndre Ayton the Suns are 11-38 this season.
The Suns currently run with De’Anthony Melton as their starting point guard. He averages just 5.6 points per game and 3.4 assists per game.
The guard depth in the Western Conference is as deep as ever. As a result, teams are trying to form talented backcourts which could happen if the Suns acquired a point guard.
Booker has handled the role of facilitating in recent seasons due to the lack of a true point guard on the roster. Therefore, his usage has skyrocketed to 31.7% and 31.8% in the last two years.
With how talented Booker is at shooting, it’d be advantageous to see him play alongside a point guard who could get him the ball. Thus, a move for someone like Dragic makes sense.
Goran Dragic would bring a veteran presence and would improve the scoring at the point guard spot. Booker can be himself but would play with someone who can score more consistently as well.
Of course, making a move for Dragic wouldn’t make them contenders but it would win them more games. If Dragic is on his way out, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of him reuniting with the Suns’ organization—where he was drafted in 2008.