Goran Dragic, who will turn 32 years old this weekend, earned the first All-Star nod of his career this season with the Miami Heat.
After the Phoenix Suns hired head coach Igor Kokoskov, some wondered if it was possible that Dragic would get traded back to his former team during the offseason.
Not only did Kokoskov work directly with Dragic when he was an assistant coach for the Suns, Igor has also coached him and potential draft target Luka Doncic on the Slovenian national team (via Heat Zone):
“Phoenix, which finished with the league’s worst record, will have a chance to draft coveted Slovenian prospect Luka Doncic — a projected top-five pick. Is this all leading up to a Dragic-Suns reunion? Not necessarily, because a 31-year-old point guard who turns 32 on Sunday doesn’t make a lot of sense for a rebuilding franchise.”
Dragic played for Phoenix from 2008 through 2011 and then returned to the franchise from 2012 through 2015.
Some staffers (including assistant coach Bill Cartwright as well as trainer Aaron Nelson) are still working with the franchise. Former teammates still with the team include Jared Dudley, TJ Warren and Brandon Knight.
Perhaps if Miami can receive their own first-round pick in 2021 for Dragic, the Heat could be interested in such a deal. Phoenix, however, would be far more likely if they decide to pursue Doncic (since Dragic could help the youngster’s development and the duo has great chemistry).
Heat team president Pat Riley recently mentioned that no one on the Heat roster is untouchable in trade talks.
David Ramil spoke about why the Suns could decide to move forward with such a deal (via Locked On Heat):
“You have to have some players there who are kind of in your corner. I think Kokoskov is somewhat of an unknown factor. I don’t know that he necessarily has the tenure with the NBA to kind of make him a well-known, established name … He’s got the support of a number of Jazz players, obviously … But it’s always good to have somebody who is capable of understanding your vision and helping you to implement that vision. I don’t know if it’s that much of a stretch.”
During the podcast, they pointed to the experience former NBA head coach David Blatt had with the Cleveland Cavaliers when no one was stepping up for him.
Dragic, though listed as a point guard, is comfortable playing off the ball. Miami Heat wing Justise Winslow often brought the ball up the court even when Dragic was playing at the one this year. Dragic and Doncic would be able to co-exist even if Doncic plays as a point forward in the league.
He and Phoenix guard Devin Booker could play off the ball while Doncic takes the ball up the court, much like LeBron James does for the Cavaliers. While none of this is set in stone, it’s certainly something the front office and coaching staff is likely already considering for their rebuild.