Veteran guard Goran Dragic could be moved before trade deadline

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Raptors could move Dragic before trade deadline

The Goran Dragic era in the Toronto Raptors nest could be over before it even started. Dragic, who has played just five games with the Raptors and started in two competitions, is believed to be in the trade block as the league nears the trade deadline. According to a recent report by Doug Smith of the Toronto Sun, the Raptors are indeed getting a lot of interest from other teams in a deal that will involve the veteran scorer. With the trade deadline just under a few weeks away, there’s no denying that the possibility is almost certain that Dragic will end up on another team this season.

“According to multiple NBA sources, speaking on condition of anonymity as nothing has been finalized, the Raptors are very interested in a myriad of differently structured deals for the veteran point guard and it is almost certain that he will be processed toward NBA trade deadline of Feb. 10…

“No names were clear in conversations with sources here over the weekend, but it is clear that with 10 days to go, Chief Executive Bobby Webster and Chairman/Vice Chairman Masai Ujiri are being proactive in the search for agreements.

In the five games he played for the Raptors, Dragic recorded just 18.0 minutes per game, which was his lowest average playing time since the 2010-11 NBA season when he is suitable for the Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets. During his brief stint with the Raptors, the veteran point guard averaged 8.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steals per game, while producing a set percentage shots that include an overall 38% clip in the field. , a 28% clip from the three-point line and a 100% clip from the free-throw line. Of course, there’s no doubt that Dragic can do better than those numbers he put up for the Raptors. He may be past the peak years of his career, but it’s also true that he can still put the ball in the hoop and get a lot of attention from the defense, which in turn helps him distribute assists to his teammates and making them better players at the offensive end of the floor. He has plenty of weapons in his arsenal on offense, starting with his reliable outside shot and creative finishing around the edge.

Dragic, who turns 36 in May this year, was the 45and overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft. There were tons of enthusiastic prospects who got selected before him, and that includes Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, OJ Mayo, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Danilo Gallinari, Eric Gordon, DJ Augustin, Brook Lopez, Jerryd Bayless, Jason Thompson , Brandon Rush, Anthony Randolph, Robin Lopez, Marreese Speights, Roy Hibbert, JaVale McGee, JJ Hickson, Ryan Anderson, Courtney Lee, Kosta Koufos, Serge Ibaka, Nicolas Batum, George Hill, Darrell Arthur, Nikola Pekovic, Mario Chalmers, DeAndre Jordan, Omer Asik, Luc Mbah a Moute, Sonny Weems, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Henry Walker. Notable undrafted players in this class included Sundiata Gaines, Salah Mejri, Anthony Morrow, Timofey Mozgov, Greg Stiemsma and Reggie Williams.

Before entering his name in the 2008 NBA draft, it is true that Dragic was already a household name in his native country of Slovenia. He was named Slovenian League Rookie of the Year in 2005 and Slovenian League All-Star in 2006. In 2008 he won the Slovenian Super Cup, Slovenian Cup and Slovenian League. He will also win FIBA ​​Stankovic Cup Most Valuable Player in 2010, Euroscar Player of the Year in 2017, FIBA ​​EuroBasket Most Valuable Player in 2017, and Slovenian Sportsman of the year in 2017. In the NBA, Dragic achieved a few individual accolades which include NBA Most Improved Player of the Year in 2014, an All-Star berth in 2018, and an All-NBA Third Team selection in 2014.

If and when he is traded to another contending team, there is no doubt that Dragic can contribute a lot on the attacking side of the pitch. More importantly, he’s also willing to sacrifice his production to give his team a better chance of winning, much like when he accepted a sixth-man role when he helped the Miami Heat get to the finals of the NBA in 2020. According to a column written by Dan Devine for The Ringer, Dragic was able to turn his starting spot into a more valuable sixth man role for the Heat, especially if you look at the fact that he provided a kick much needed thumb in the second unit.

Goran Dragic abdicated his starting spot due to injuries and circumstances, but transformed into one of the best sixth men in the league and took the opportunity to return to the forefront in the bubble in re-entering the starting lineup and fueling Miami’s ever choppy drive-and-kick. offense. Duncan Robinson, undrafted in 2018, absorbed Spoelstra’s belief that he was an NBA sniper until he started buying it himself, and that’s exactly what he became. Tyler Herro, decidedly not short on self-confidence, earned Spoelstra’s trust with his work ethic and commitment, then rewarded that trust by dominating the Celtics on the biggest stage of his basketball life. The lightly regarded Meyers Leonard and undrafted former rookie Kendrick Nunn served as key co-cogs in one of the league’s best big-minute rosters during the regular season. They then retreated, like rocket boosters detaching from a space shuttle, as Miami entered the bubble and Spoelstra unveiled the Heat’s final form: Bam in the center; Dragique to the point; a combination of Butler, Robinson, Herro, Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder on the wing.

(Crowder wasn’t the headline of the Memphis deal that brought Iguodala in, but the 30-year-old was arguably the most impactful acquisition anyone has made at the 2020 trade deadline; he shot 56.4% on 3 seeding games and 41.7% on more than eight attempts per night in Miami’s first 10 playoff games, helping provide the floor spacing that Butler, Adebayo and Dragic had need to blast the defenses inside.) The post-restart Heat feature speed, shooting, intelligence, game play and wickedness everywhere. It’s the perfect rotation to lead Spoelstra’s revamped offense until opponents break down, and to disrupt them with the pressure zone patterns that Spoelstra, along with Toronto’s Nick Nurse, helped push to the forefront of NBA defense. The Heat drew a shorthanded Pacers team in the first round, without Domantas Sabonis and a diminished Victor Oladipo, but then brutally bullied the top-seeded Bucks in the second round, sparking what could be an existential crisis in Milwaukee. . And now they have outclassed the Celtics, sending another potential favorite home.

As for the Raptors team as a whole, there’s no doubt that they can hold their own even without Dragic’s services. Point guard Fred VanVleet and combo forward Pascal Siakam certainly play at All-Star level, and they also have other talented plays such as Chris Boucher, Scottie Barnes, Gary Trent Jr., Precious Achiuwa, OG Anunoby and Malachi Flynn. Along with all those names, they also have a great mentor in head coach Nick Nurse.

Right now the Raptors are sporting a decent 24-23 record which is good for the 8and place in the Eastern Conference. They’ve won three of their last five games, including tough wins over the Washington Wizards, Charlotte Hornets and a grueling triple overtime win over Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, PJ Tucker, Gabe Vincent, Max Strus and the Miami . Heat. Their next set of assignments will be two games against the Atlanta Hawks, another game with the Miami Heat and a very tough game against Lonzo Ball, Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, Ayo Dosunmu and the outstanding Chicago Bulls.

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