The Lakers appear set to make a play for one or both of the Slash Brothers next summer...Could they actually pull it off?

In the midst of the fog surrounding Eric Bledsoe's future with the Suns, a new threat is apparently lying in wait just hoping to take advantage of the Phoenix Suns contract uncertainty.  However, they aren't just looking to steal away Bledsoe, they also may have their hearts set on Goran Dragic as well.

In a report released on ESPN, Marc Stein identifies the Los Angeles Lakers as potential threats to pounce on both Bledsoe and Dragic after this coming season.

In order for the Lakers to snatch one or both of the Slash Bros., they are considering three different scenarios.

  1. Bledsoe signs his qualifying offer with Phoenix which would all but guarantee that he would be gone next season and available to be signed outright by L.A.
  2. Bledsoe will agree to the $48 million or more extension which would then make it more difficult for the Suns to sign Dragic to a max contract next summer.  L.A. takes advantage and offers Dragic more than the Suns can, or are willing.
  3. If Bledsoe signs the qualifying offer he would likely join Dragic as an unrestricted free agent next year, once Goran all but certainly opts out of his final year of his contract to secure a more lucrative, long term deal.  The Lakers would then make the pitch to Bledsoe and Dragic to become the new and improved backcourt for L.A. together, and repeat the success they enjoyed together during their time in Phoenix.

But are their plans sound?

The most likely scenario that could work in L.A.'s favor is the first one.  With Bledsoe still refusing to sign the Suns latest offer, whatever that may be, the possibility that he signs the qualifying offer becomes greater with every new day.  If Bledsoe goes this route, I think the Lakers will definitely be players in attempting to sign him, as they try desperately to return to relevancy in the (soon to be) post Kobe era.

What about the second option?  I see this as extremely unlikely.  One of the most probable reasons that the Suns have remained adamant about not giving into Bledsoe's request to offer a max deal, is that Phoenix is trying to retain the cap space and flexibility to ink Dragic to a new deal next year.  Between the two, it is much more likely that Phoenix gives Dragic a max, or near-max contract rather than Bledsoe, even at a higher overall overall cost.

Dragic has become the face of the Suns franchise.  Unlike Bledsoe who has appeared at best aloof when it comes to showing any personal connection to the Suns organization or the Phoenix fanbase, Dragic has worn his appreciation for, and loyalty to the organization and city on his sleeve throughout being drafted, traded, and choosing Phoenix over Houston in order to return once more.

The chance that L.A. would be able to sway Dragic away from the Suns who will likely retain enough cap flexibility to re-sign him at any cost is extremely unlikely.

That brings us to the third scenario.  This one is the most unlikely pipe dream of all.  In order for the Lakers to acquire both Dragic and Bledsoe, Eric would need to sign the qualifying offer and then successfully pitch Dragic and Bledsoe to team up in L.A., while Phoenix loses out on re-signing both of their best players.

The problem is, if Bledsoe leaves, Phoenix would have no reason at all not to offer Dragic the full max next season to insure he stays with the Suns.  They have plenty of cap space to do so, and losing Bledsoe would only give them more.  The Lakers would be hoping that Dragic's desire to play with Bledsoe would somehow trump his desire to stay in Phoenix, and his loyalty to the Suns organization and fans.

Not likely.

The bottom line is, the possibility that the Suns could end trading or eventually losing Bledsoe to another team are very real.  And yes, the Lakers could easily get in on that action.  Eric spent the first few years of his career in L.A. with the Clippers, and likely develped some kind of affinity and ties to the city over that time.  I see no reason why he wouldn't entertain playing for the Lakers.

But Dragic?  No...It's just not going to happen.

Goran Dragic is a Phoenix Sun at heart, and the team, organization, and fans absolutely adore him.  I don't foresee any sequence of events that could logically explain losing Dragic to the Lakers in the near future.

Hands off our Dragon, L.A...he's staying.

After leading by as many as 10, Slovenia has the worst 4th, getting only 2 points in the quarter.

This will be short, since it's painful to write. Both teams came out strong, you could see the intensity from the start. It was an exciting match in which Slovenia managed to take a 10 point lead, only to choke completely in the 4th with Lithuania winning the quarter 12:2. And even those 2 points came in the final minute of the game.

Goran Dragic had the least efficient night so far going for 12 points on 5/14 shooting which included 0/5 from three.

stg.0.png

Personally I think we are relying to much on Goran Dragi?. In the sense that every team prepares for him and firstly tries to stop him. Instead of moving the ball some more or playing both PGs at once to relieve some pressure, we keep doing the same thing with Gogi over an over again: driving and getting harassed from all sides, which just makes him tired and frustrated. We could use him more as a decoy and let Klobu?ar run point at times. There was a specific moment when Gogi was at the rim calling for the ball. Two guys went at him afraid he'd score (he didn't even have the ball) and in that moment completely forgot about the big at the rim they're suppose to worry about. Right pass made, we got a bucket. I'm not at all trying to take anything away from the Dragon (least of all the ball) since he's been magic for us. I just told a guy off for saying he was "disappointing". Even with his missed shots he was, as always, giving his 100%. As a basketball fan, that's all you ask for. Except Australia, who choose to lose.

We move on to the brackets. As Slovenia ended up in 2nd place of Group D they face the Dominican Republic on Saturday.

bracket.0.png

Advice for Turkey: Remind Australia they might play Team USA eventually, they'll probably just forfeit.

Since this was such a downer, I'm grateful for Ryan McDonough and this hilarious video everyone should watch.

The Group of Death of basketball proved painful to Serbia, which fell to 2-3 in Group A play in an 89-73 loss to Spain on Thursday. The good news is that such a 2-3 record was still enough —...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

So many banners in the rafters at U.S. Airways Center, but none for the landlords of the building... Only the smaller tenants.

With business news hitting the wire that America Airlines, who is a merged partner with U.S. Airways, will not renew the naming rights for the downtown Phoenix arena it makes one ponder a few things.

First, who is going to get to name this arena in a Top 5 populated city with one of the more well-known NBA teams as the landlords? Over the past few years there have been new arena names such as Sleepy Train (Sacramento), Barclays Center (Brooklyn), Moda Center (Portland), and the Smoothie King Center (New Orleans), all of which leave much to be desired. The Suns will be in that list soon and are looking to land something closer to the Barclays Center than Smoothie King Center.

Second, how will the legacy of American Airlines (as well as U.S. Airways Center) be remembered for Arizona Sports?

Do you remember the last time the Phoenix Suns were in their sports Championship Game? It was some time ago and despite the two appearances the Suns had in the NBA Finals being memorable ones, it has now been 21 years since the last time they were there.

That is a long time in sports years.

While the Suns have been one of the better models of consistency for winning and stability in their history getting over the hump has been difficult.

You need to hit the right cords with having a Charles Barkley (HOF), Kevin Johnson, Dan Majerle, Danny Ainge, Tom Chambers, and Richard Dumas on the same team at the same time. You need a terrific head coach like Paul Westphal leading the charge and a front office filled with Colangelo's (Jerry and Bryan) pulling the right strings. That 1992-1993 Suns team was tremendous winning 62 games and ending just two victories shy of a championship banner.

The very next year the state of Arizona crowned their first champion.

While the Arizona Rattlers are not spoken of in the same breath as the boisterous, more financially driven teams from the NBA, NFL, MLB, or NHL they are a team in the state of Arizona that won a Championship. They did so in 1994 and since then have made eight more trips to the Arena Bowl Championship Game. They are 5-4 in the Championship with banners galore hanging from the rafters.

They have become the unofficial Kings of the U.S. Airways Center (formerly America West Arena) especially as of late winning three championships in a row from 2012-2014.

Recent greatness has also struck with the unofficial Queens of U.S. Airways Center, the Phoenix Mercury, winning two championships since 2007 and zeroing in on a third this year. The niche sports have taken over the downtown arena that has been the home of the Phoenix Suns for over 22 years.

Of course in the NBA there is more of a competitive disadvantage with 14 other teams in the conference alone, and, in a dynasty league; it is extremely difficult to grab that brass ring.

For the Mercury, they are in a dynasty league as well, but have the pieces to be that dynasty team. The Houston Comets owned the league for 4-5 years, then the Los Angeles Sparks for 3-4 years, then the Detroit Shock, then the Mercury, then the Minnesota Lynx, and now... Back to the Mercury.

The Arena Football League has seen four dynasties from the Detroit Drive, to the the Tampa Bay Storm, to the San Jose SaberCats, and now the Rattlers.

With the Rattlers and the Mercury as the unofficial Kings & Queens respectively of U.S. Airways Center they have become the dynasties of their sports. The Suns are a step behind these niche sports that drawn a smaller, but rabid fan base, that supports them to the fullest. These teams have the benefit of playing in a great arena because of the Suns and are taking full advantage of it with banner-after-banner.

The passion and fans are here, waiting for the Suns to become their sports dynasty team. When will that happen for them?

Slovenia scored just two points in the final quarter of FIBA World Cup group play on Thursday and lost to Lithuania, 67-64, falling to second place at the end of group play. The defeat ended Group D...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Page 30 of 1475

30

Sponsored Ads