The Suns beat the Knicks on Saturday, 99-90. Despite the win, Goran Dragic hasn’t been up to his All-NBA Third Team performance from last year. Saturday’s victory was Dragon’s second game back from a back injury. Still, the Suns point guard will be highly coveted this summer in free agency, and his comments after the game went a long way towards putting the Knicks in contention.
First, Dragic has said he’ll opt out of the remaining $7.5 million he’s due next season by the Suns. This makes sense, even if his production as dipped after the Suns added Isaiah Thomas to coach Jeff Hornacek’s multi-guard attack, and he’s dipped into some of Dragic’s playing time.
But Dragic has also said he loves Phoenix and plans to re-sign, though a more recent report from The Sporting NEws’ Sean Deveney has his free agency “wide open,” with the Rockets and Lakers joining the Suns as contenders. Now we can add the Knicks to the list.
Per the New York Daily News‘ Mitch Abramson, comes news Dragic would “would love” to play for Knicks president Phil Jackson, and the Knicks are a definite “possibility.”
“Oh yeah, definitely,” said Dragic, who earned All-NBA third-team honors last season. “You know Phil, he was a great coach. He won so many titles and he was coaching so many great players that of course it’s interesting and I would love working with him. Because probably he’s making all the moves — I’m not sure — but he knows what the team needs and what direction the team needs to go. In the past probably, he makes some decisions, who the Lakers bring in and the Chicago Bulls and (he)did an amazing job.”
But Dragic also reiterated his love for playing in the desert of Phoenix:
“I think so it’s a possibility, but not just New York,” Dragic said. “I’m a free agent. I want to explore my options but so far I’m really happy in Phoenix. They give me a lot. I like the city. I like the fans and I like the organization, so it’s going to be a tough decision to make, but I’m going to start thinking of that at the end of the season.”
But what about their dreadful 5-25 record through the season’s first 30 games? Dragic understands that every season is different, and that after winning just 25 games in the 2012-13 season, a surprising Suns team spearheaded by Dragic and — at least for half the season — Eric Bledsoe, won 48 games last year and were just short of making the playoffs over Dallas:
“Every season is different so it doesn’t matter if they have a bad season,” Dragic told The News before Saturday’s game. “You know, I went through that process with Phoenix and we won only (25) games like two seasons ago. It’s tough but you need to be strong and every year is different. Like one year you can win (25) and then we won (48) games (last season) so it doesn’t matter.”
Dragic, like most in his position, wants to be wooed by teams, then finally make his decision based off the current state of the team, the leadership in charge, the money and any number of factors that go into a free agency decision. He doesn’t know anything right now, but for a Knicks team that’s off to its worst start in franchise history, even a sliver of hope should be cause for celebration.
What do you think?
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