As we approach tomorrow's trade deadline there may be no hotter commodity than Goran Dragic. It's clear he wants the Phoenix Suns to trade him from their crowded backcourt and he's put them in a difficult position by revealing that he intends to leave as a free agent after the season if they don't move him before then.
Teams are lining up to try to pry Dragic away from Phoenix, with the Boston Celtics being among those rumored to be interested. Unfortunately, that interest may not be reciprocated.
Boston an intriguing trading partner for PHX because of assets, but sources close to Dragic say: He isn't interested. Doesn't like BOS fit.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) February 18, 2015
The teams Dragic's camp has leaked he would be willing to re-sign with consist only of the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. All glamorous locations that happen to have an opening at point guard. Dragic doesn't seem to mind being traded from a team on the verge of making the postseason to one of the league's cellar dwellers if it means he would be able to have the ball in his hands more, allowing him to put up big numbers heading into free agency.
Boston already has a young point guard as part of the core they are building. While coach Brad Stevens seems to like the idea of using multiple point guards together and could make a pairing of Marcus Smart and Dragic work, I'm skeptical that Dragic would consider that partnership to be any better than sharing the ball with Eric Bledsoe in Phoenix.
We know Danny Ainge isn't shy about taking risks, but giving up valuable assets to acquire Dragic seems like an unnecessary one given how unlikely it is he would stay beyond this season. Ainge would essentially be calling Dragic's bluff that he'd turn down the extra money and guaranteed fifth year that Boston could offer if they traded for him now and acquired his Bird Rights.
Latest out of PHX: Hear Miles Plumlee, made available by Suns last month, could well be attached to Dragic deal if firm trade materializes— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 18, 2015
If Phoenix were wiling to include Miles Plumlee in the deal, that could offset some of the risk, since he's under contract beyond this season. That way if Dragic bolts this summer, Boston doesn't come up empty handed. Plumlee has been a bit of a disappointment in his young career, but the Celtics could always use another shot blocking big man. Boston has trade exceptions that they could use to fit both Dragic and Plumlee, or they could offer the expiring contract of Brandon Bass if the Suns are looking to bolster their frontcourt depth.
Boston has plenty of assets to get a deal done with the Suns if they really want Dragic. The question is - should the Celtics give up valuable assets for Dragic if he doesn't really want them?