At least three NBA teams are interested in signing Slovenian guard Zoran Dragic.
According to ESPN, the Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings and the Indiana Pacers have shown “serious intentions” in signing the 25 year old younger brother of Suns’ star guard Goran. Sources say that the talks between those teams and Zoran will intensify this week following Slovenia’s elimination from the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The younger Dragic has recently renewed his contract with the Spanish Team Unicaja Malaga. But his contract allows a buy-out to the NBA provided that the move is made before the start of the Spanish league in October. However, the buyout is reported to be higher than the 750,000 euros which Malaga would be paid if Dragic waits until the summer of 2015.
Good showing at FIBA worlds
After being undrafted in the 2011 NBA draft, Zoran Dragic played four games in the NBA Summer League of 2012 for Goran’s former team, the Houston Rockets before signing a two year contract with Unicaja Malaga. He has caught the attention of NBA teams with his impressive showing at the current 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup where he was instrumental in Slovenia’s run to the quarterfinals.
Zoran averaged 12.9 points, 4 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 7 games played. He scored a personal best 22 points against Mexico in the group stages and was key in their round of 16 win against the Dominican Republic with 18 points. He was held to just 11 points in their tournament ending 76-119 loss to Team USA in the quarterfinals.
Zoran plays a lot like Goran but he is taller and heftier. Although his outside shot is not as polished a Goran’s, he plays more physical and is a lot tougher. He would be an ideal two guard in the NBA who has good ball handling skills.
Among the teams seriously interested in Zoran is Phoenix, which is Goran Dragic’s mother team. Goran was the NBA’s breakout star of 2014 where he was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player and All NBA Third team honors. Goran can become an unrestricted free agent in July 2015, and the Suns may be thinking that signing his brother to an NBA contract will help convince Goran to stay in Phoenix.
Sacramento Kings’ GM Pete D’Alessandro was reportedly in Spain supporting his players Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings’ boss was said to have watched Zoran play against Team USA in the quarterfinals. The Pacers lost Lance Stephenson in the free agency and Paul George to injury. Larry Bird’s squad needs all the offense it can get to offset those losses. The Pacers have recruited internationally this summer. They recently signed sweet shooting Croatian forward Damjan Rudez.