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Phoenix Suns have perfect situation for the other Dragic brother, Zoki the Lionheart

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After entering into a one-to-one affiliation with the Bakersfield Jam, the Phoenix Suns have much more opportunity to deepen their team with prospects like Zoran Dragic.

Christof Koepsel

The Phoenix Suns breathe fire with a Dragon who is affectionately called 'Gogi'. Is it time to bring his lookalike brother, affectionalely called 'Zoki the Lionheart' onto the team as well?

Zoran Dragic, the 25-year old younger brother of Goran, is ready to join the NBA this next year. He will not participate in Summer League, but he does not want to join an NBA team for next season.

We don't expect the situation to resolve easily, as [Zoran] Dragic doesn't want just to travel overseas, but to be a significant member in team which will sign him. At this point he's concentrated in the playoffs of the Spanish league and after the end of the season he ‘ll go undergo a hernia surgery. He'll be out of action for about one month and then ‘ll take part in the preparation of Slovenia for the upcoming FIBA World Cup. So he'll not risk playing in the summer league like he did in the past.


Zoran is an exciting player whose moves are reminiscent of brother Goran, but he is a bit of a tweener. At 6'5" he is a swingman, but cannot drain the 3-pointer with regularity (28% shooting in Spanish League) and does not rack up assists (only 1.1 per game there).

He shot the ball much better in 22 Euroleague games - 35.4% on three-pointers - and even passed it better (1.6 assists per game), but made a lower FG% overall (45% vs. 52% in the Spanish league).

In both leagues, Zoran is a part-time player (18.1 min/game in Spanish League vs. 22 min/game in Euroleague).

Reasons why Zoran would be a good addition to the team:

  • He is brothers with the Suns' most important re-signing after this summer is over
  • After bringing in Dionte Christmas (25) and Ish Smith (25) to round out the bench, GM Ryan McDonough shows a propensity for guys who fit Zoran's profile.
  • Dragic would not cost much - he makes only $300K per year in Europe, with a team option to extend for two more seasons unless he's bought out ($500K) for an NBA contract
  • He has not been a full-time player, so likely would not demand minutes (a key trait for the bench players)
  • He is brothers with the Suns' most important re-signing after this summer is over
  • His signing would be a public relations dream - 'Gogi and Zoki', the 'Dragon and the Lionheart', 'four guys, two faces' (with the Morris twins)

Zoran does not have a clean, projectable rotation role with the Suns. But because the Suns now have their affiliation with Bakersfield you can expect a lot more movement between teams (NBA to D-League) from the bottom of the Suns roster to keep guys fresh.

Also, as the season wears on, we've seen that coach Hornacek prefers veterans to rookies for the all-important 10-minute cameos in a playoff race. Zoran has several years of important experience in Europe, and could provide more punch from the bench than Dionte Christmas last year.

It appears to be a win-win for the Suns. Very little risk, but a high reward.

I'd like to invite our Slovenian friends to weigh in on where Zoran would fit on the Suns.

Here's a video made by our own Rude Corona: