Forget Philadelphia...Phoenix is the new City of Brotherly Love.
According to reports, the Phoenix Suns, who are already the most family friendly franchise in the NBA, may be looking to add yet another sibling to it's roster.
Marc Stein of ESPN was the first to report that the Suns are one of three teams interested in signing Goran Dragic's younger brother, Zoran Dragic, after the conclusion of the World Cup games this summer.
Zoran. the 25 year old brother of Phoenix-Phenom Goran Dragic, has been one of the best players this summer on the Slovenian national team. In fact, Goran called his brother the "best player on the court" after scoring 16 points in Slovenia's loss the the U.S.A. basketball team in August.
But Zoran's play isn't coming out of nowhere. Zoran has been on the NBA's radar for a while now.
In fact, you may or may not remember that Zoran played on the Houston Rockets' Summer League team in 2012, the same summer that Dragic eventually left to sign back with the Phoenix Suns.
In his stint with Houston, Zoran averaged only around 6 points, 1 assist, and 1 rebound in about 21 minutes of play. However, since that time, Zoran has continued to develop overseas, and has made a name for himself for his international play.
Zoran Dragic had a PER of 18.3 last season. That would've been good for fifth out of all NBA Shooting Guards (Harden, Wade, Manu, DeRozan)— Scott Chasen (@SChasenKU) September 8, 2014
Of course you can't really compare the PER of an international player to the much stiffer competition in the NBA, but it does indicate that he is playing well, regardless.
Zoran is a 25 year old, 6'5" 205lb shooting guard who is known for his ability to score by slashing to the basket, and his intense play and energy on both ends of the court (sound familiar?).
This past year, Zoran averaged around 10 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal in around 20 minutes of play, while shooting around 43% from the field overall.
While those numbers aren't stellar, they could be useful to the Suns who may just be willing to take a gamble on another Slovenian with a great pedigree. Plus, having Zoran on the team certainly wouldn't hurt Phoenix's chances of re-signing Goran next summer if he opts out (which he will).
The one catch is that Zoran is currently under contract with Unicaja Malaga in Spain. However, according to Marc Stein, a buyout may be possible if Zoran leaves before the start of the new season, and pays fees that would exceed one million dollars.
According to Larry Coon's NBA CBA Faqs, the Suns or any other NBA team could contribute as much as $600,000 of cap-free money to buyout Zoran, the rest would have to come out of his salary.
Will any of this materialize? Who knows. But if any team is interested in bringing Zoran over to the NBA, the Suns seem to make sense. It would be a low-risk proposition that could not only pay off down the road from a developmental sense, but also in helping to keep one of the Suns' biggest stars happy in the short term, and more importantly, when it's time to sign his next contract.