Who is Goran Dragić, the Bulls’ new point guard? – NBC Chicago
Who is Goran Dragić, the Bulls’ new point guard? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Chicago Bulls entered free agency intent on adding veterans and capable shooters to their roster. They did so by agreeing terms with Goran Dragić on a one-year deal.
Dragić, 36, is a 14-year NBA veteran with an All-Star selection under his belt. A 6-foot-3, 190-pound point guard, he had professional stints with the Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Bulls’ new pickup:
Hometown of Goran Dragić, background
Dragić was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia on May 6, 1986, the son of Marinko and Mojca Dragić. He has a brother, Zoran, who briefly played in the NBA for the Suns and Heat.
As a child growing up in Slovenia, Dragić was originally a soccer player, but switched to basketball at age 11 after an injury, according to his biography page on NBA.com. He often woke up in the early hours of the morning (3 to 4 a.m.) to watch NBA games. He listed Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson and Steve Nash as some of his favorite players to watch at the time, and cited Vlade Divac and Drazen Petrović as two of his basketball heroes.
Dragić is fluent in Slovenian, Serbian, Spanish and English.
International career of Goran Dragić
Dragić made his professional debut aged 17 with a minor league club, then had stints with Slovan, Murcia (Spain) and Union Olimpija between 2004 and 2008. He entered the NBA draft in 2008.
Dragić also enjoyed a decorated career with the Slovenian national team. At the age of 18, he won gold at the FIBA Under-20 Championships in 2004 and then became a staple of the national team high to the point where he was named captain in 2014. That year he helped Slovenia to a fifth-place finish at the FIBA Basketball World Cup, and in 2017 helped the country win its first-ever FIBA EuroBasket title.
While Dragić announced his retirement from the national team in 2017, he returned in 2022 to help Slovenia in the qualifying phase for the 2023 World Cup.
Goran Dragić NBA Career, Stats
Dragić was drafted 45th overall (15th second-round pick) in the 2008 draft by the Spurs, then traded to the Suns on a draft night deal.
In 888 NBA games, Dragić averaged 13.7 points, 4.8 assists, and 3.1 rebounds while shooting 46% from the field and 36.2% from 3-point range. He was named an All-Star for the first and only time in his career in 2018, and in the 2013-14 season, he earned Most Improved Player honors and a spot on the All-NBA Third Team.
Bold = Led NBA
* = All Star
Dragić also has 60 games of NBA playoff experience. He averaged 19.1 points and 4.4 assists for the Heat in their run to the 2020 NBA Finals, but in Game 1 of this series he tore his plantar fascia and missed the rest of the playoffs. .
Goran Dragić career earnings
Dragić earned nearly $151 million during his NBA career, according to Spotrac. His contract for the Bulls would be worth one year, $2.9 million.
Goran Dragić Bull Cup
Dragić joins an already crowded guard room with the Bulls. Lonzo Ball and Zach LaVine plan to start in the backcourt, with Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu, Coby White and recent first-round pick Dalen Terry also in the mix.
What Dragić provides is an experienced hand in command of an offense, someone who makes sound scoring and passing decisions as a ball handler, and has a track record of skill from 3 points.
That said, Dragić has shown signs of decline in recent years, so his exact role is hard to predict. At best, it is at constant depth. At worst, he provides solid insurance against a wave of injuries similar to what the Bulls endured last season — especially Ball, the team’s only real playmaker.
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