All night Sports 620 KTAR radio reported that the Suns were trying to get Slovenian 6'4" PG Goran Dragic and after looking like they missed out, Kerr pulled it off at the last minute with this deal:
Sports 620 KTAR's John Gambadoro reports the Phoenix Suns have traded No. 48 Malik Hairston, their 2009 second round draft choice and cash considerations to the San Antonio Spurs for the Spurs second round pick, Goran Dragic, the 45th selection in the 2008 NBA Draft.
Dragic is a point guard from Slovenia.
"Dragic is considered the second best point guard in the draft but had contractual issues with his team in Europe and wasn't projected to go in the first round because of that," Sports 620 KTAR's Gambadoro said. "He is owned by Tau in Spain and a buyout deal may have been worked out to allow him to come to the United States to play. He is left handed, 22 years old and has great size 6-3 1/2 with a 6-7 1/2 wing span and 37 1/2 max vertical. If he can come now this is a steal for the Suns and they have their point guard for the future."
Check out this write up of his defense:
Dragic played spectacular defense on whoever he was guarding, mainly Rudy Mbemba, who’s terrific speed did not faze him in the least bit. He got right into his man’s grill on every possession of the game, fighting through screens admirably, showing excellent length and lateral quickness, and getting his hands on countless number of balls. It got to the point that players were just afraid to put the ball on the floor when Dragic was in the vicinity, as more often than not he would find a way to poke it away and bust up plays. He got his team into transition time after time, and made very good decisions once there, finishing strong and intelligently around the basket and getting to the line seven times.
I love this move by the Suns. I have no clue who this guy is (yet) but the Suns thought very highly of him and if they managed to arrange for him to play here this year he could turn into a huge steal. And from the Spurs no less!
And even if he's a bust, you have to credit the Suns for being aggressive and going after the guy they wanted even it cost some $ to get done. They easily could have just walked away from him after he was initially picked by the Spurs at 45. But no, they wanted the guy and found a way to get it done. Love it.
Meet Goran - I have a very good feeling about this kid for some reason. I love his size and defense and while his offense is reported to be shaky, we saw in Rondo how valuable an athletic, tough defensive PG can be to a team. I also am thrilled that we are getting a 22 y/o with a few years of game experience instead of a 19 y/o Freshman.
[Note by ZonaFlash, 06/28/08 6:20 PM EDT ]
[Note by ZonaFlash, 06/29/08 6:30 AM EDT ]
I have to admit. I'm starting to get excited about Slovenian Magic. I thought this was a lot of PR bunk - another foreign second-rounder to be parked overseas and never mentioned again.
However, the extreme excitement of Kerr, the tenacity of the management team to get this guy and the willingness to fork over money for this guy to play next season says a lot to me about what the Suns think he is.
It still may not pay off, but at least it's sincere excitement and just PR.