Apr 14, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic (1) looks down against the Memphis Grizzlies during the second half at US Airways Center. The Grizzlies won 97-91. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Why Dragic to the Pacers Could Happen

On Thursday, rumors started to swirl over a trade scenario that would send Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic to the Indiana Pacers.

It’s no secret the Pacers are in need of a true point guard to run their often stagnant offense, but why would the Suns give up on Dragic who’s coming off a career year, where he averaged 20 points, 3 rebounds and 6 assists? The answer…….

LeBron James.

Now this is just my educated guess, but I think the Dragic to the Pacers rumor is part of a big plan for the Suns to land LeBron James. There have been reports that Lebron’s agent Rich Paul has had meetings with multiple teams about James, including the Phoenix Suns.

My speculation was fueled when ESPN’s Marc Stein, who first reported the Dragic to the Pacers rumor, chatted with Grantland’s Zach Lowe about the Pacers trying to get the Celtics involved in the deal.

Rajon Rondo to Phoenix makes the loss of Dragic much easier to swallow. It also adds a superstar to the Suns roster to entice LeBron James. Rondo and restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe would be the projected backcourt for the Suns, but I don’t think the Suns stop there. The Suns could then use Bledsoe in a trade to bring the likes of Kevin Love or Chris Bosh to Phoenix….would that be enough to persuade LeBron?

Why for the Celtics?

It would start the rebuilding process. Rondo is in the last year of his contract, and with the Celtics being unable to lure another big name to Boston to help their star point guard, it’s likely time to move on. The Celtics drafted point guard Marcus Smart with their first pick (6th overall) in the 2014 NBA draft, and the move could be seen as selecting Rondo’s replacement. Celtics President Danny Ainge would look to unload the contracts of Jeff Green and Gerald Wallace, while stockpiling young prospects and draft picks in exchange for Rondo.

There were reports earlier in the summer that the Celtics are in the market for a rim protecting big man. Probasketballtalk quoted Celtics forward/center Jared Sullinger’s father who stated of his son,  “Next year, I think he’s going to get finally get to play his true position of power forward. And so, at that point, he’s going to come home and he’s going to trim down and shed some pounds, so he gets a quicker step and a little more mobility. Because they’ve kind of promised him that they’re going to get a center.”, which the Pacers have in Roy Hibbert.

Hibbert would go to Boston with a combination of young players and picks from the Pacers and Suns.

So the main pieces in a trade would be Dragic to the Pacers, Rondo to the Suns, and Hibbert to the Celtics. Sprinkle in some draft picks and young prospects going to Boston, as well as a bad contract or two leaving the Celtics, and we could have a deal.

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Tags: Goran Dragic Indiana Pacers Lebron James NBA Free Agency

  • Ian

    Don’t really understand the reasoning behind why Phoenix would do this. Unless Rondo is really good buddies with LeBron, I can’t imagine why his presence would attract James to Phoenix. It’s a shooter’s league and Rondo can’t shoot. James is the master at drawing the defense and kicking to open shooters. Rondo would be a liability. What’s more, its generally accepted that Rondo’s defense has slipped, even before his injury. Rondo is ball dominant and thrives mostly in finding shooters. James is also at his best with the ball in his hands. At this point Bledsoe is a better version of Rondo and Dragic a far better player.

    For the Pacers it’d be a nice trade but they’d likely have to take back some bad deals in order to make up for the difference in Dragic and Hibbert’s salaries, and they’d now have George Hill making 8M a year for the next 3 without a real place to play him.

    For the Celtics, this mostly makes sense. Hibbert’s deal is only for two seasons. If they truly think he just needs a change of venue then it’s probably worth the gamble.

    Mostly this sounds like Pacer fan fantasy though.

  • Pierre

    The Suns would still have cap space to add a shooter. Could even trade Bledsoe if needed. Rondo makes sense because LeBron wouldn’t have to be so ball dominant. LeBron would still get the ball in spots to be dominant. You say open shooters like Miami have top flight shooters? Ray Allen? Could easily sign with the Suns. Chris Bosh? Suns could make room for him as well. Rashard Lewis? You get my point. The Suns could easily add shooters to the roster and they already have a few in Green, Morris Twins, could bring back Frye, and drafted Bogdanovic.

    Not sure I would say Bledsoe and Dragic are better at this point? Rondo was coming off of a serious injury, and really seemed to just be going through the motion on a bad team last year. I think a lot of people get caught up in the Suns number, but that’s mostly due to their up & down style. Pretty much everyone in the rotation 1-8 put up solid statistics.

    Is the idea a long shot? Sure, but I still think it’s a possibility