Goran Dragic, the 26-year-old point guard from Slovenia who has spent the last four seasons with Phoenix and Houston, signed a 4-year, $34 million contract with the Suns. Dragic has been a career backup so far – he’s started just 36 games in four years, with 28 coming last season due to Kyle Lowry’s injury – but he’ll be the starter in Phoenix, taking over for Steve Nash, who is now with the Lakers.
(Question 1 for Phoenix Suns fans: I like Dragic a lot, and have raved about him for a few years on this site. But why would you draft point guard Kendall Marshall last week in the lottery if you’re going to make him a backup for the duration of his rookie contract?)
The Suns, in desperate need for offense – Josh Childress never returned to being the player he was in Atlanta after playing two years in Greece – also added enigmatic small forward Michael Beasley for 3-years and $18 million. Beasley, the No. 2 pick in the 2008 draft, will join his third team in five years. He’s a volume shooter who likely will lead the Suns in scoring.
(Question 2 for Phoenix Suns fans: If you could turn back time one week and talk with the Suns’ front office, and they said their top free agent target was Dragic – a player the previous front office had traded away – who would you have wanted them to draft instead of Marshall? If you’re thinking small forward – Moe Harkless? – would he have been able to save you money on Beasley, a maddening talent with a penchant for knuckleheaded behavior?)
I don’t anticipate the Suns being a playoff team in 2012-2013, or even a playoff contender. Early guess: 26-56. There’s still a gaping hole at shooting guard, and they’ve got a surfeit of power forwards (Frye, Morris, Warrick). The good news is that they’ll have a Top 10 pick in the 2013 draft, and also an additional first rounder each of the next two years from the Lakers (probably picks in the late 20s).
Previously: Steve Nash traded to Lakers for Draft Picks
Previously: Deron Wiliams Signs with Nets, 5-years, $98 million