Goran Gets His Wish & the Suns Get Two Picks

By: Ravneet Singh

Phoenix Suns

Received: Danny Granger, John Salmons, 2017 1st Round Pick (from MIA), 2021 1st Round Pick (from MIA)

It’s sad for me to say this, but the best basketball for John Salmons and Danny Granger is far behind them. They probably won’t be big factors for the Suns as they try to make a push for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The major pieces the Suns received from this trade were the two 1st round picks they got from the Miami Heat.

Per RealGM.com, the Heat own an unprotected 1st round pick to the Suns. By that time Bosh and Wade will be in their late 30s. This seems like the more valuable pick, because Miami will likely be rebuilding by back then. The Suns will just have to be patient for that pick to have dividends.

The 2017 1st round pick is top seven protected. There’s a very good chance that Miami makes the playoffs next year, but if they don’t and get a top seven pick it becomes a top seven pick again in 2018. If the Suns still don’t get the pick, the pick turns into a 2019 1st round unprotected pick. It’s tough to get 1st round picks these days, yet the Suns got two. It’s difficult to know how high those picks will be, but they could have risked losing Dragic for nothing.

Grade: C+

New Orleans Pelicans

Received: Norris Cole, Justin Hamilton, Shawne Williams

Jrue Holiday being hurt has really left a void at the point guard position for the Pelicans. Tyreke Evans has played quite well, but Norris Cole could possibly give some relief to him. In his debut he had 12 points and 3 assists.

Shawne Williams has been released by the Pelicans and has signed with the Pistons. Justin Hamilton hasn’t done much in his NBA career thus far, and actually seemed to regress from last year albeit a short sample size.

Essentially the Pelicans have traded Cole for Salmons, which isn’t bad considering they needed help at point guard. However, we don’t know if Cole and New Orleans will have a long-term relationship, because he’s a free agent after this year. Still it’s not a bad trade, but nothing spectacular too.

Grade: C

Miami Heat

Received: Goran Dragic, Zoran Dragic

In terms of talent, the Miami Heat have obviously won this trade. Goran was a top ten point guard last year. In fact, he made it to the All-NBA Third Team and won the NBA Most Improved Player Award. This year has been another story. His points and minutes have declined but not by much. Why trade him if you were the Suns?

Well first off, he wasn’t happy. Isaiah Thomas came in, at a decent value too, and crowded the backcourt. Then as the trade deadline approaches Yahoo reports that he won’t sign an extension in Phoenix and wants to play in a bigger market.

So it makes sense if you are the Suns. Why keep a point guard when he’s clearly not happy, not producing as much as the previous year, and will likely not resign with a team? Pat Riley took advantage of the situation and traded for a player that will probably resign with them.

The Heat have lacked a legit true point guard for almost eight years when they had Jason Williams. Even Jason couldn’t score as much as Goran can. The older Dragic brother should be able to help a Miami team that struggles to score on occasion. Miami is 28th in the league in total points per game, per ESPN.com. They are also 28th in assists per game at 20.2. Goran should be able to help in both of these categories.

Goran is 28 years old and in his prime. Riley has put together a decent team, but one that has a timer on it. This team really only has three more years at best after this year. Chris Bosh going through health issues doesn’t help the process much either.

Zoran played really well internationally this last summer, and you can see some of what he had to offer back in 2013 against Italy.

He still has a long way to go to prove himself in the NBA, and only time will tell if he can be a real contributor in this league.

Getting Goran speeds up the rebuilding process for the Heat, and they have to try to win as soon as they can because of an aging Bosh and Wade. This was a nice stepping stone for a team that was likely to be out in the first round. Now that Goran is there in Miami, no one will be looking forward to playing this team in the playoffs.

Grade: A