In his first declaration on his impending free agency, Goran Dragic makes it sound simple to re-sign with the Suns.

While this stalemate with Eric Bledsoe drags on, the Phoenix Suns other big star - and arguably the bigger star of the two - has no plans to drag out his own free agency decision next summer.

Phoenix Suns All-NBA guard Goran Dragic spoke to a reporter in Spain recently, and in response to playing in next summer's Eurobasket 2015 he spoke of his contract situation and how that should not impact his playing status.

"Got a very interesting position with the club. Guess I'll break the contract and sign a new one," he said. "As I spoke [to the Suns], I immediately during the first week, when the market opens, sign and I will therefore be calm."

When Goran talks of a very interesting position, he means that there is no easy way to give him a big raise on an extension of his current contract. As well, there's no provision for re-negotiation. If that were the case, we'd likely have been hearing more about Goran's new contract than Bledsoe's.

The way the CBA works, the Suns can only offer up to a 7.5% raise on new years after the expiration of his current $7.5 million/year contract, which is about half of Dragic's market value now. Dragic is likely to earn somewhere between $12-18 million per year in next contract, and the only way to get that is to opt out at his earliest opportunity which is next summer.

But that doesn't mean he wants to leave Phoenix, and he said as much to that reporter.

Music to Suns fans ears, right?

According to BSotS regular contributor Pece, Goran has previously mentioned this scenario in connection with a conversation with the Suns front office, but that was not mentioned in his particular translated report.

Goran has never been one to court drama, and he's always wanted to be in Phoenix. He considers Phoenix his NBA home. Two years ago, he re-signed with the Suns for slightly less money than (reportedly) Charlotte offered and for (reportedly) about the same money Houston was offering to bring him back.

The fun story is that, while the Suns front office was hosting rival free agent point guard Ray Felton in 2012, Suns managing partner Robert Sarver went out to the parking garage and called Goran personally to offer a deal. The two quickly came to an agreement right then and there, and Goran was back.

He loves Phoenix, loves the town, loves the fans and loves the organization.

So in true loyal fashion, he's apparently already made up his mind about next summer. He has a player option for the 2015-16 season for the meager $7.5 million - a number he thought was really good two years ago but now pales in comparison to his value.

Of course, this is dependent on the Suns making a fair market offer when the time comes. They've reportedly done so this summer with Eric Bledsoe, though the market turned out smaller than anyone expected. Yet they came up short with Channing Frye, who went to Orlando for a significantly higher sum than Phoenix wanted to pay.

Will they come up short on Dragic?

Likely not. With Isaiah Thomas as the only veteran signed to a long-term deal (Tucker's is only fully guaranteed for 2 seasons), it appears the Suns have re-upping Goran Dragic as one of their top priorities in the coming year.

Either way, Dragic won't drag it out. He will review offers and - in my personal opinion - will take the Suns offer as long as it's competitive with the market. I doubt Dragic even cares about whatever Bledsoe will/does get. It just needs to be roughly the same as anyone else is offering him in the opening days of free agency.

If another team offers $18 million per year, would Dragic re-sign for $15 million with the Suns? Maybe not. So the Suns will have to be competitive. It sounds like Dragic isn't worried about that, which means he's been assured by the front office that will be competitive.

"If you were in Zagreb, our group would have been at home and had a huge crowd," he said of next summer. "Of course, I'm tempted [by the] European Championship. Olympics are my biggest wish."

He's already been talking about competing next summer in Eurobasket 2015 to qualify for the Olympics in 2016, something Slovenia has never been able to do before. To do that, he has to be under NBA contract, replete with insurance in case he gets injured.

No problem.

Let him go. Zoran's a cooler name than Eric.

Already astutely covered by our own Dave King, some guy named LeBron James thinks that the Phoenix Suns should "break bread," when it comes to contract negotiations with guard Eric Bledsoe. Or less eloquently put, "Hey! Give my friend money!"

If you missed anything, Paul Coro recounts the stalemate that has been the Summer of 2014 between Bledsoe and the Suns.

Nothing you haven't already heard, but here's a picture of fellow Rich Paul clients Bledsoe and James working out together in Birmingham, Alabama. Beware though, there's an overload of hashtags.

Need a job?  Your favorite Western Conference powerhouse is hiring for a variety of positions.

Your dreams of seeing Greg Monroe in a Suns uniform have been dashed. At least for a year. The Pistons forward signed a $5.5 million qualifying offer to remain in Detroit another season.

Former Phoenix Sun Shaquille O'Neal has submitted an application to join the police force in Doral, Florida, just outside of Miami.

Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek purchased upper level seats to the Phoenix Mercury's Game 1 matchup with the Chicago Sky in the 2014 WNBA Finals.

Clearly, CLEARLY the Phoenix Suns are the favorite team among NBA fans residing in central Iowa.

Construction on a new USA Basketball complex, part of a $436 million urban showpiece in Tempe, is scheduled to begin in December.

I wonder if the Austrailian national team checked out the Nick Nolte classic Blue Chips. The Aussies have been accused of throwing its game against Angola in the FIBA World Cup. Goran Dragic has opinions.

The Dragon and his countrymen will play the United States in the World Cup quarterfinals in Barcelona Tuesday night.

Former Memphis standout Joe Jackson received an invitation to Phoenix Suns training camp on Monday.

Robert Sarver wants to hear your ideas for Phoenix. He is part of a group participating in an event modeled after the television show Shark Tank.

Goran and Zoran! Could the brothers join forces in Phoenix?

Well at least we've got Goran and Bogdan, who are shining on the international stage.

The NBA has now facilitated the exit of its second owner in as many months due to derogatory comments toward the predominantly black race of players in the league.

First it was slumlord Donald Sterling, a 30-year owner with nearly as many years of reputation as a unadulterated bigot. No one was surprised that Sterling is a racist. They were merely surprised by the method in which he was "caught" in such a public fashion, thanks to TMZ Sports. New commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA acted swiftly, stripping Sterling of his ownership rights and forcing him to take a billion dollar severance for his capitulation. Poor guy.

Now, in the same offseason, the NBA is forcing another owner, Bruce Levenson of the Hawks, to take at least several hundred million dollars to walk away from losing operating income every year on a struggling franchise. Again, poor guy.

You know all this. Boo hoo. Rich people getting richer.

But despite the obvious "easy out" by these owners, it's important that the NBA is protecting its players by stripping the NBA of any known racism. That's the message, right? Zero tolerance!


Somewhat overlooked in the process these last 48 hours is that it was racist comments by GM Danny Ferry that started the whole internal investigation of the team in the first place.

Ferry reportedly was reading from a scouting report on Luol Deng and took it upon himself to either ad lib or neglect to edit a comment that Deng had "some African in him. But not in a bad way."

The context is even worse than the excerpt:

"He's still a young guy overall," Ferry said, league sources with direct knowledge of the probe told Yahoo. "He's a good guy overall. But he's not perfect. He's got some African in him. And I don't say that in a bad way."

Forget for the moment what that comment even means. What's material is that some people were offended. Apparently, those people were sufficiently concerned enough to start a massive investigation into racism within the front office of the Hawks.

That Ferry even made the comment that started the investigation could be brushed off as benign in and of itself. Without knowing the context, one could make the case that he was simply unprepared for the free agent meeting in which they were talking about an extremely well known, 10-year NBA player who would command about 20% of their salary cap, and that he merely read the scouting report for the very first time verbatim because he was holding it. Maybe it was even hot off the ol' fax machine and Ferry presented it as "breaking news".

But even if you believe that nonsense, you must then consider that the inflammatory email sent by owner Levenson in 2012 WAS SENT TO FERRY. You don't send an email that detailed, that open, that conversational if you don't think the person receiving the email would be okay with the message. You don't send that if you think the person would shut down at the rhetoric and lose the message.

And finally, we have a revelation on Monday night that minority owner Michael Gearon Jr., in reaction to the Ferry comments and the ensuing investigation, implored Levenson to fire Ferry. IN JUNE.

"We are calling on you, as majority owner and NBA governor, to take swift and severe action against general manager Danny Ferry. Our advisors tell us there is no other choice to ask for Ferry's resignation and if he refuses, to terminate him for cause under his employment contract."

IN JUNE, this was.

So not only did Levenson not fire Ferry in June, he still didn't fire him all the way up until his time as an owner was over.

And for as self-righteous and "I'm gonna fix this" Steve Koonin has been during this fiasco, he merely "punished" Ferry in a private way AFTER ALL THIS CAME TO LIGHT THIS WEEKEND.

Koonin has been around for months. He was there when Ferry made the comments. He was there during the investigation. And all he did was "punish" Ferry without firing him.


Why does the NBA owner have to go but no heads roll under him? That's the exact opposite of the business world. No CEO walks away without trying to fix the problem first, even if they were the problem.

But this is the NBA. This is the league where owners "take one for the team" by walking away with hundreds of millions of dollars.

And apparently, this is the league where bigots who could actually be negatively impacted by any action against them, who might not profit from the transaction, are left in their positions of power to make sign/release/trade decisions about a race of players "were are not perfect" because they have some "African" in them.


And fire any other racist in that organization who was in a position of influence over the roster.

And then start investigations on every other NBA team, including the Clippers, to make sure the NBA house is actually clean.

It's not good enough to pay the bigoted owners to walk away. Get tough, NBA. Or admit that you're just not interested in cleaning up this mess.

And while you're at it, make sure the next guy you approve as owner of a team isn't a bigot either.

The Phoenix Suns are one of three NBA teams that have interest in Goran Dragic‘s brother, Zoran Dragic, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. While the Indiana Pacers were rumored to be one...

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Slovenia recovered from its loss to Lithuania with a win over Dominican Republic, placing themselves as one of the top 8 teams in the world. Australia losing also helped. And the Phoenix Suns reportedly want more Dragons.

So much to tell:

Firstly, team Slovenia beat the Dominican Republic on Saturday. After that traumatic loss to Lithuania on Thursday Goran Dragic and his teammates managed to pick themselves up somewhere in the 2nd quarter getting the win and advancing to the quarterfinals. Full game stats can be found here. They face team USA next (Tuesday Sep. 9th, 12AM PHX time). Though there is little hope or rational expectation of a win in Tuesday's game, when asked what he expects of the game the Dragon himself said: "Victory!". OK, so this was said with a smile and a laugh, but he goes on: "I think (so :P) this will be a hard game, the Americans have a very athletic team. You get past one, and Anthony Davis is waiting there and blocks everything. When we penetrate, we'll have to find the open player and count on a good shooting night. Maybe Coach Zdovc will try zone. You never know what can happen. Maybe the Americans won't be having a good day, we will and something might come from it". Even Coach Zdovc said "they (USA) are not unbeatable".

Secondly, the Basketball Gods punished Australia on Sunday for allegedly tanking the game against Angola. I admit I kept one eye on the game, wholeheartedly cheered for the Turks in the 4th and had a good long laugh over the Aussie loss. That's not all the punishment they're getting; FIBA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Australia. Whether this was inspired by Goran Dragi?'s public dissatisfaction over the matter we'll probably never know. Either way steps should be taken to avoid these situations in the future. Oh, and by the way the Dragon has a sense of humor (if someone could explain the 3+5=7 part that'd be great) and is a bit clairvoyant (0:24).

Another interview can be found here.

Thirdly, there have been rumors going around that 3 NBA teams have interest in Zoran Dragi?, Goran's brother. This doesn't really come as a big surprise since he's been the epitome of effort and energy for Slovenia on offense and on defense. He is averaging (through 6 WC games) 13.2 points (53.6% shooting), 1.5 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 1.7 steals in 26 minutes and he makes a block every other game. What is a bit surprising is one of the teams (per ESPN' Marc Steinreportedly interested in Zoki are the Phoenix Suns. The Suns are currently pretty loaded at the guard position I don't see how he would fit on the roster, especially since he has previously stated he'd "want to have an important role" if he left his Unicaja Malaga for the NBA. Of course if this whole Eric Bledsoe saga doesn't give us a favourable outcome, we'll have more to talk about. In the mean time, lets see how Suns fans feel about acquiring Zoran Dragi?.

Final thing, we all know Goran Dragic should have been an NBA All-Star last season. FIBA has their own All-Star FIVE voting, which anyone can participate in. Lets try to fix the injustice and get the Dragon on this All-Star team shall we? While we're at it we can also make him the MVP ;)

Do you want the Phoenix Suns to sign Zoran Dragi??

  103 votes | Results

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