The Rockets' top trade deadline target, by all accounts, in Goran Dragic, and the sweepstakes to add the former Houston resident just got a lot more interesting.
One reporter is "hearing" the Suns want a first-rounder for Dragic. Guess who has a first-rounder that appears likely to end up in the lottery to offer? Your Houston Rockets, assuming the New Orleans Pelicans can't beat out the Suns and Thunder for the No. 8 spot in the playoffs.
Dragic will be a free agent next year, and it's neither a secret that he'd be open to returning to the Rockets nor a secret the Rockets would want him. It's doubtful the Suns would simply do a straight swap for a protected first-rounder for their star point guard, so the Rockets would have to throw someone else in.
Their top movable players are:
- Donatas Motiejunas, who's cheap this year and has a cheap team option for next year
- Terrence Jones, who's cheap this year and will be a restricted free agent in 2016
- Corey Brewer's $4.7 million contract, with a player option for $4.9 million (if he keeps playing like this, he'll surely turn it down. He might have already earned a bigger FA contract)
- Jason Terry's $5 million or so expiring contract
They have the Pelicans' pick, plus two 2015 second rounders. They have at least one first- or second-round pick in every upcoming draft, so they can do a lot of funky things with all of it. (RealGM's pick tracker is an excellent tool if you're not aware of it yet).
I'm sure the Suns will wait until the last possible moment to make a deal, if they make one at all. They're currently in the playoffs, and trading away arguably your best player with that happening is not a good look for a team that has had a decently long playoff drought.
I think D-Mo and Brewer should basically be treated as untouchable this year (I personally want the Rockets to re-sign Brewer if the price is right), but lots of folks think Dragic is the Rockets' final piece to have a championship-ready team. He knows the coaching staff, he's a dynamic two-way player (although he's more O than D) and he'd be great.
Color me very skeptical that this deal gets done, however. I think the Suns hold onto him unless they get an offer they can't refuse, and I don't think anything but D-Mo the first-rounder and maybe a second rounder gets it done, and even then, it might not do the trick.
Still, it's fun to dream, and this is the first report we've heard in a while that the Suns are still at least looking at moving the Dragon.