In the wake of Paul George's injury, the Indiana Pacers are looking to change up their team to add some pop to the offense. It appears they recently contacted the Phoenix Suns about acquiring third-team All-NBA player Goran Dragic, offering one of the league's best rim protectors in return.
Certainly, the Pacers are going to struggle to score with George and Lance Stephenson out of the lineup next year.
In the wake of Paul George's horrific injury, the Pacers will likely start Rodney Stuckey and C.J. Miles on the wing barring any upgrade to the roster. Miles can't dribble in the half-court, and Stuckey can't shoot. The Pacers were the league's worst non-Philly offense last season after February 1, and it's hard to see them sniffing league-average production on that end without both George and Lance Stephenson. No lineup without both of those guys logged more than 28 minutes last season, per NBA.com.
Even playing off the ball half of last season, Dragic put up career numbers with 20.3 points, 6.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game as the Suns best overall player.
Bright Side's own Jogi translated most of the video for us and decided that it seems to be a new offer made after Paul George's injury.
"Indiana offered Roy Hibbert, Chris Copeland and some cash," Dragic told the reporter from Ekipa. "But according to my sources, the Suns rejected the offer."
Jogi says he recalls another report out of Slovenia that Dragic actually got on the phone with the Suns front office when hearing about the offer through the media.
He did go on to say he feels flattered by the attention, Jogi says of the Ekipa interview, but would not want to change his environment as he feels great in Phoenix and has a lot of friends here.
He did say after the season is over, anything is possible, but he's not the caliber of player that has any say in trades.
"It's the NBA," Dragic said. "You're here today, and there tomorrow. It's business".
The Phoenix Suns are always going to be in "listen" mode when it comes to any of their players, but it's clear that in rejecting an offer of Roy Hibbert - a worthy candidate for 2013 Defensive Player of the Year as the league's best rim protector, as well as second team All-Defense in 2014 - the Suns value Goran Dragic quite highly.
The Suns have also, reportedly, rejected any and all trade offers for Eric Bledsoe as well. This sends a message that, quite possibly, the Suns are being honest about wanting to play all three point guards, along with Isaiah Thomas, heavy minutes in 2013-14 in an experiment to run other teams off the court.
The Suns can definitely use some full-time rim protection but as Lowe points out in the Grantland article above the NBA is evolving into a league where bigs like Hibbert are a dying breed and no one is clamoring to acquire them these days.
It's ironic that it was Dragic and the Suns who exposed the Pacers' and their #1 defense's inability to defend a slashing, floor-spacing game like the Suns ran. The Pacers were a league-best 33-7 before the Suns beat them twice in a week, and after that the Pacers just weren't the same team. The Suns forced Hibbert out of the paint by planting Channing Frye on the three-point line, which totally messed up the Pacers rotations and took Hibbert basically out of the game. In the end, the Pacers and Hibbert wilted badly in the playoffs.