The Phoenix Suns created one of the most unique rosters in the NBA last summer when they added a third starting-quality point guard to their rotation.
The Suns signed point guard Isaiah Thomas to a four-year, $US28 million deal, putting him next to fellow point guards Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic.
In 2013-14, the Suns had success playing Bledsoe and Dragic together. This season, they have played all three together at times.
The crowded backcourt has apparently worn on Dragic, an unrestricted free agent this summer. The point guard told the Suns he doesn’t plan to re-sign with the team after the season, and he could be traded, according to Adrian Wojnarowski:
After informing the Phoenix Suns that Goran Dragic won’t re-sign an extension this summer, agent Bill Duffy delivered the Phoenix Suns a list of preferred trade destinations that includes the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Miami Heat, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Until Tuesday night, the Suns had been given hope that moving guard Isaiah Thomas would make Dragic more comfortable with re-signing, but it became clear in a meeting with management that he no longer wants to share a backcourt with Thomas and Eric Bledsoe, league sources said.
If Dragic doesn’t want to re-sign with Phoenix during the summer, the Suns have almost no choice but to trade him before the deadline. If they don’t, they will likely lose him for nothing in the summer.
Dragic was always only lukewarm to the idea of sharing point guard responsibilities with two other players. In November, he was asked about the Suns’ early struggles and the lack of cohesion amongst all three guards, and he answered bluntly:
“Because there’s only one ball and we’re all point guards. That’s an easy answer. It’s hard. That’s sacrifice. If Isaiah’s playing well, he’s going to stay in. Me and Eric, it depends who is playing better and who is going to be on the court. The other guy is going to be on the bench. It’s the way it is. We need to embrace that.”
Dragic’s numbers are down almost across the board. Last season he made All-NBA Third Team after averaging 20 points and six assists per game on 50% shooting, 40% from three. This year, his numbers are down to 16 points and four assists per game on 50% shooting, 35% from three.
The Suns tried a borderline radical experiment, taking the NBA’s “pace-and-space” offensive movement and pushing it to the limits with three point guards surrounded by shooters and a big man.
The on-court product has been ok, but it’s likely going to cost them one of their best players and possibly a chance at the playoffs as a result.
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