Disturbing news coming from Slovenia after yesterday's relief.

Per Sport TV: Manager/director of national team(s) Matej Avanzo says Goran Dragic "will probably leave Phoenix next year and will find himself a new middle in the NBA".

The article goes on to say his participation at Eurobasket2015 will be depended on the new employer.

In another article it mentions that apparently this is the reason Suns GM was in Barcelona.

I don't know if this is just a prediction by Avanzo or if it is legitimate information. But keep in mind this is not Goran's agent or manager or anything. He is only responsible for the national team(s) and also holds 2 other positions in Basketball Federation of Slovenia : deputy of general secretary and manager of projects and marketing.

In his last statement Goran did say he has "an interesting situation with the club. Probably I'll terminate the contract and sign a new one. Like I've discussed, in the first week when the market opens, I'll sign and then I can be calm". He apparently also confirmed for Siol on Monday that he wants to sign a new contract by the middle of July next year.

This makes no sense to me since we just established yesterday that Goran loves Phoenix. It would be a real shock if what Sport TV says Avanzo says has any ground.

Lets not panic just yet, there is surely to be more news on the matter.

UPDATE: From Matej Avanzo himself:

Mr. Avanzo was kind enough to reply to my tweet asking on whether what Sport Tv said was true. His reply:


It is a misinterpretation, I did mention, that this is one of the options, as far as I know.

Sport Tv can be counted as an unreliable source.

Available again are the mothership's annual predictions for the Future of each franchise, including your own Phoenix Suns. Their predictions have smelled bad recently, but so have the Suns so they haven't been that far off base.

Predictions are like poop in a toilet bowl. Somewhat interesting to look at, ever changing as they swirl, and quickly forgotten once they are flushed.

Let's take a moment to look at old poops anyway, and then even more moments sniffing the latest version because it smells a whole lot better than previous editions.

ESPN's explanation

The Future Power Rankings are ESPN Insider's projection of the on-court success expected for each team in the 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.

Each of the NBA's 30 teams received an overall Future Power Rating of 0 to 100, based on how well we expect each team to perform in the next three seasons.

To determine the Future Power Rating, we rated each team in five categories. As you can see, we determined that the most important category is a team's current roster and the future potential of those players -- that category accounts for 50 percent of each team's overall Future Power Rating.

At the same time, we looked at many other factors, such as management, ownership, coaching, a team's spending habits, its cap situation, the reputation of the city and the franchise and what kind of draft picks we expect the team to have in the future.

For the first few years, it was John Hollinger and Chad Ford. Recently, Hollinger exited for an NBA front office and Ford was joined by Amin Elhassan, Kevin Pelton and Tom Haberstroh.

History of the Suns Future Power Rankings

Entering the 2009-2010 season, ESPN ranked the Phoenix Suns 26th in their Future Power Rankings. The Suns went on to make the Western Conference Finals in the spring of 2010 and barely miss the playoffs in 2011 and 2012, so throw that prediction of "on court success over the next three seasons" in the crapper.

Entering the 2010-2011 season, ESPN ranked the Phoenix Suns 27th in their Future Power Rankings, citing a terrible offseason when Amare Stoudemire left for greener pastures and was replaced by a handful of spare parts.

The enthusiasm over the Suns' terrific run to the Western Conference finals was seriously dampened by a pretty crappy June and July.

When team president and GM Steve Kerr resigned, owner Robert Sarver took over front-office operations and managed to do a great deal of damage in just a few weeks.

First he lost Amare Stoudemire in free agency, and then he took on Hedo Turkoglu's huge contract while also overpaying Josh Childress (who plays the same position as Turkoglu), Channing Frye and Hakim Warrick. Sarver eventually brought on respected player agent Lon Babby as the team's new president, but at that point, most of the damage had been done.

Sarver's moves will help keep the Suns respectable for the moment, but for the future, the picture is bleak. As Steve Nash ages, it's hard to imagine how the role players Phoenix has put around him will be able to prevent a Suns slide into irrelevance.

(Previous rank: 25)

This time, they were closer to correct. The Suns did fall flat on their faces within three years, though they were middle of the pack in the two seasons before that.

Entering the 2011-12 season, ESPN ranked the Phoenix Suns 26th in their Future Power Rankings.

Given that Nash (who turned 37 in February) can't do this forever, the long-term prospects in Phoenix continue to be pretty bleak. The Suns should have a little money to play with this summer once Carter comes off the books, but it won't be enough to land a major impact player, thanks to the senseless contracts owner Robert Sarver gave Warrick and Childress last summer. By the time the Suns do have real cap space, Nash will be slowing down. Most likely, the team will explore trading him this summer. If they can get back significant assets, their future should brighten. But for now our outlook remains decidedly pessimistic.

Again, they were pretty dead on here whether we wanted to believe it or not. A three-year window did not look good and the Suns proved it in the 2012-13 season, their first without Nash.

Entering the 2012-13 season, ESPN bottomed out the Phoenix Suns at 29th in their Future Power Rankings.

Nevertheless, we believe that only the Bobcats and Magic are in worse shape from a players perspective.

We're pinning much of the blame on owner Robert Saver. He's the worst type of owner -- both a spendthrift and a meddler who doesn't really know basketball. It's virtually impossible for us to rate the job GM Lon Babby has done because of Saver's influence on basketball decisions.

The only good news for Suns fans? The team should have its own high draft pick this summer and is due picks from the Grizzlies and Lakers in coming years.

Again, they were pretty right on this, except that the listing was supposed to a FUTURE Power Rankings, not a present power rankings. If you project a team to be one of the worst in the league then you need to give them credit in the draft category. But alas, the Suns had not shown any acumen to use their assets well. The rebuild was beginning, but no one was willing to admit it yet.

Their predictions on the 2013-14 season were no better. ESPN kept the Suns in 27th (Bright Side link here) despite a flurry of positive moves that would bode well for THREE YEARS down the road if not the current season. They only really gave credit for the projected draft picks, but otherwise tanked the Suns everywhere else. ESPN was having fun at the Suns expense once again.

Well, it looks as though we were right when we said the Suns had hit rock bottom in May. The Suns move up two spots in this year's rankings thanks in large part to how bullish we are about their draft prospects. They are on pace to have a very high pick in the next couple of drafts plus they own future first-round picks from the Pacers, Timberwolves and Lakers. That pushed them into the top spot in the draft category.

We also are a little more bullish on their roster thanks to the addition of point guard Eric Bledsoe and rookie big man Alex Len over the summer. Those two have the potential to be the cornerstones that the Suns begin to build around.

We also gave their management a small bump thanks to the hiring of Danny Ainge's protégé, Ryan McDonough. If he can provide the same sort of talent evaluation he did in Boston, the Suns, for the first time in a while, might actually draft one or two players worth keeping around.

The Suns are still a long ways away from being a playoff contender, but for the first time in several years, the team is finally on the upswing.

Dawn...err the Bright Side... has arrived!

Finally, the Future Power Rankings are beginning to shine bright on the Suns. After years of putting the Suns future in the bottom five of the league - something proven correct only ONCE in the last six years - the big boys at ESPN have seen fit to recognize the Suns as a player. At this point, it's looking more like a referendum rankings, rather than a three years down the road ranking.

Chad Ford finally helps put the Suns as high as 12th, though he still finds a way to close out with a zinger.

It's time to eat some crow. Last year, I -- and the rest of our panel -- blasted the Suns, ranking them No. 27 in our Future Power Rankings. The only thing we really liked about them was their potentially high draft position and their warm, Arizona market. What a difference a year makes.

After our rankings, the Suns went on to move center Marcin Gortat (one of their best two players) for a broken Emeka Okafor and still managed to nearly steal a playoff spot in the loaded Western Conference. It turned out Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe had career years. Gerald Green also had the best year of his career. Ditto for Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris. And Channing Frye basically made the comeback of the year.

All of that led us to double the Suns' score on their roster from 20 to 41. That score might be even higher if the Suns had managed to lock up Bledsoe to a long-term contract this summer. If he bolts the desert next year, that number will take a hit. We also increased the Suns' management score (we're big Jeff Hornacek fans) and still give them pretty high marks for the draft thanks to future picks they own from both the Lakers and Wolves.

While the Suns aren't necessarily contenders in the West, they aren't the bottom-dwellers we thought they would be. But the biggest question in my mind then is: Have they gone from underrated to overrated? I wouldn't be shocked to see the Suns settle into the late teens or early 20s next year.

So they are saying over the next three years, the Suns might be the 12th best team in the league. A playoff team. Or, they might decline a bit or stay level, which is out of the playoffs. But hey, at least the Suns are not last!

Here's hoping they are further along than a first-round ouster, but I see where these guys are coming from. The Suns don't have a proven marquee guy on the front line for three years from now, and all their hope only has one shown it for one really good year in which they didn't make the playoffs.

Yes, the Suns are rightly pegged as a potential flash in the pan. Teams have done that before.

My hopes for long-term shine are in Jeff Hornacek's ability to get the most out of his guys year in and year out, and Ryan McDonough and Lon Babby's ability to improve the talent on the team even more in the coming years.

Goran Dragic returned to the Phoenix Suns in 2012-13 out of loyalty to coach Alvin Gentry and the organization that drafted him. When he most surely opts out of his contract next summer, there will...

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Goran Dragic and Slovenia gave Team USA a game for a half, but eventually the Americans’ bullying in the paint got the best of them. USA knocked Slovenia out of the FIBA World Cup 119-76 in the...

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After a good first half from Slovenia, USA just ran them over, scoring 119 points in the process of securing their semifinal spot against Lithuania.

Here comes the BOOM (thy name is Dragic-led Slovenia cheered on by around 2500 fans in Barcelona)!

Ok, enough with the pleasantries, on with the game.

Disclaimer: My emotions!

First period

Faried opens the scoring after a manly foul and makes one ft. Lorbek makes great pull up jumper but misses the free throw. And you can clearly hear Slovenian fans cheering them on after a brief lead. A great Dragonshake was eventually blocked but Slokar gets the offensive rebound. But USA is doing one thing and one thing only, getting the ball to Faried. Goran Dragic DUNK, are you kidding me! A made jumper later, we're up 8:4, 3 minutes in and playing well. But we can't keep up with the stronger, more agile Americans and are committing foul after foul. Gogi gets his first foul on Irving, who completes the and one. And just like that we're down 10:13. And USA is getting, on average, 3,5 offensive rebounds per possession, jumping all over our dudes with 15 rebounds to our 7. We're trying run and gun, but it's not really working, USA invented it. But our guys are hanging in there, giving it all and are down by 4 points with 3 minutes left in the first.

Goran is being hounded, he's not even allowed to dribble for a bit, let alone make a undisputed kick-out. Cousins strips Omic and finishes at the other end to make it 15:26. Some good ball movement later, we're only down by 6. Well 8 again, but Curry jut picked up his 3 personal on Prepelic, who makes both freebies. Harden threw a crazy jumper, missed the rim and the ball landed right in Cousins' hands. It's 29:22 at the break, but our main problem are personal fouls by our "bigs".

Second period

Good ball movement by Slovenia again but USA is just too much of a handful under the rim, there's just no boxing out against them. Oh and Thompson is hitting every open shot, so that's not helping us. Gogi checks back in and he's still double and triple teamed, but he still makes a nice floater. A couple of turnovers by Blazic later and we're down by 11 again. USA got 15 points off of turnovers, if you're interested. And we got a defensive rebound! Followed by an airball from Gogi. Harden gets his second foul and takes a seat but USA's defense is killing us, coupled with a vicious block by Davis. Zoran makes a strong move to the rim and forces a foul by Davis. But he makes another jumper, of course, and gets a foul on offense, elbowing Zupan in the neck. It's still a 10 point game. But Zupan is not taking the wide open three, why the hell not! Lorbek is playing well but missing free throws, not his m.o. And we're only down by 9!

Here comes the zone defense, a missed shot and Cousins gets his third foul, forcing a time out by coach K and Golica playing in the arena. But we're still not making our free throws and committing fouls like silly people. Zone again but it's broken with an alley-op to Davis. It's clear our "bigs" are technically much better versed but can't hope to compete in the physical aspect of the game. Zoran outruns Harden for a dunk after a steal! And another drive by Harden later a Zoran-Goran pass makes it a 10 point game again, forcing a time out by USA. Zoran makes a three and it's a 7 point game with 30 seconds left and then plays some great D on Harden, running out the clock. So it's 42:49 at the half. Way to go boys! Keep up the defensive effort and take care of the ball and we'll all be happy. Well, the 2 million of us at least.

Third period

Good D, Curry breaks Lorbek's ankles but misses the jumper. Goran makes a good move and scores. Another post move by Gogi later but he misses the shot. Zoran plays good D on Harden, forcing an airball and two turnovers later we're down by 11 again. Slovenia is putting up a good fight but USA is ruthless in the open court. Oh and Davies. Zoran blocks Gay, here comes the NBA. Zoran gets his first foul on a questionable call on Harden who missed another shot. He makes his first point on a free throw, somebody was asking about Zoran's defense?

Goran weaves through traffic and gets to the rim on a great move, but Irving answers right back. Goran gets his second foul on Harden who makes the shot , gets another free throw and USA is up by 14 again. Make it 17 after Zoran misses a layup at the rim. Goran answers with a step-back three. A couple of bad passes later and we're down by 18 points after two nice alley-op dunks by Davies and Faried. And it's a 22 point game a minute after Goran left for a breather. And Prepelic is called for an unsportsmanlike foul on Cousins, then Harden makes a three with Zoran out. We're running out of steam or so it seems, our D is lagging behind. After third, USA leads by 22 points, effectively sealing the victory so let's hope for at least some good effort by our guys. 37:22 in this period for USA.

Fourth period

A three by Gay and a turnover later we're down by a lot, Goran picks up his fourth personal, Zupan picks up his fourth as well, it's 93:64, USA is getting wide open shots, no effort on D anymore. The only dude still fighting is Goran though. And we're in run and gun mode obviously, not something we can do better than USA. And if you're thinking my writing is lacking, it's reflecting my team's play. Goran looks beat, and I mean beat, so does the rest of the team. And USA is determined to finish us off, playing hard on every possession, not letting up. The difference is around 30 points with 4 minutes left. It's 111:72 with 3 minutes left, nobody's trying to play defense anymore, just trying to score and yeah, it's working wonderfully.


And the final score is 119:76, we got pummeled with 70 points in the second half and that pretty much tells you everything there is to know. Kajkejti will follow this up with another article with some quotes, when she stops mourning probably and I'm off to join her.

Goran had 13 points, amazing he actually got a shot off with the defense hounding him throughout the whole game.

His short interview after the game: "We simply ran out of energy, you saw their substitutions every two minutes, they were fresh and just ran us ragged so we just kind of fell apart in the third."

About team USA: They are very athletic, grabbing so many offensive rebounds, attacking continuously and playing D for a whole minute is going to exhaust you. We did the best we could, worked hard, left everything on the field, we're happy but we definitely wanted more

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