NBA Trade Rumors: Goran Dragic Headed for Los Angeles Lakers

( [email protected] ) Sep 05, 2014 12:30 AM EDT
Phoenix has a no win situation on their hands, and they are bound to lose one of their star guards, if not two of them.
Dragic is really starting to see his potential in the NBA. AP

If the Phoenix Suns wind up signing restricted free agent guard Eric Bledsoe to a long-term deal, then Bledsoe, Goran Dragić and Isaiah Thomas, the teams three best players, would all play the same position.  Although a long term deal would ease the tension for Bledsoe,  it will create another problem for the Suns. 

However, If Bledsoe doesn't get the max five year $85 million dollar deal he is looking for, then he plans to take the one year qualifying offer at $3.7 million.  Although this will present some risk for Bledsoe, especially after he had knee surgery this year, it also means that the Suns are bound to lose either Bledsoe or Dragic, or possibly both, when the they both hit unrestricted free agency next summer.  

Chuck Myron of thinks a long term deal for Bledsoe could put fan favorite Dragić on the trade block.

If the Suns don't give Bledsoe a long term deal, or get a trading partner before he signs the qualifying offer, then they will really have a mess on their hands, so it appears there is no real way for them to come out ahead.  

That situation has many teams, like the Los Angeles Lakers for instance, chomping at the bit.  According to Marc Stein at ESPN, the Lakers would pursue both Dragic and Bledsoe:

"The Lakers, for example, are just one team league sources say would likely make a hard run at both of them, based on the premise that the Suns couldn't afford the cost of paying both at that point, theoretically making either Bledsoe or Dragic gettable. Sources say that Houston, furthermore, has Dragic on its list of potential targets next summer given how he's blossomed since leaving the Rockets for Phoenix in the free-agent summer of 2012."

If Bledsoe does sign the qualifying offer, you might as well count him gone from Phoenix at the first chance he gets.  Players don't forget that sort of drama when the power to decide is in their hands.  

There is no doubt these issues have affected team chemistry for the Suns, too.  It will be interesting to see how they will respond this season after all the hullabaloo.