Unless you are a League Pass junkie, the idea of the Pacers trading for Goran Dragic may appear quite tantalizing, like considering how'd you handle a Power Ball jackpot before the actual drawing.
Dragic played a lead role in the Phoenix Suns running all over the Pacers the past two seasons. There are bad matchups and then there is what the Suns have done to the Pacers in their last four meetings, pounding the Blue and Gold by an average of 18 points per win. While Indiana is dedicated to defense, they have failed to hold the Suns under 100 points the past two years, instead giving up 112 points per game.
So right off the top, dealing for Dragic might give the Pacers a chance for two more wins next season. The point guard has torched the Pacers for 23.5 ppg in the last four including a season-high 34 points in 17-point win in Phoenix in early December. Not only that, he's been fantastic to watch, despite the frustrating result for the Pacers. I certainly wouldn't turn down the chance to watch Dragic for 82 games.
But when you look at his overall numbers and consider the idea that trading for Dragic may include signing him for a max deal are those two wins worth it? Is Dragic realy worth more than double George Hill? This is a business decision, after all.
Not to mention, the Suns kind of have to agree to taking what the Pacers have to offer. According to Woj, the Pacers are among the team Dragic would consider but that doesn't mean the Suns will comply with his wish list.
As Tim Donahue pointed out while taking a thorough look at the financial particulars, landing Dragic would likely mean moving David West, Roy Hibbert or George Hill.
Hill is two days older than Dragic as they both creep toward their 29th birthday in early May. Nagging injuries are already an issue for George Hill but he his heightened level of play this season is about as much as you could expect from Dragic when you consider both ends of the floor. Hill will be even more valuable over the next two season for $8 million per. When Hill's deal is done the league cap will have expanded and then paying max money for a point guard may be the move, especially for a younger point guard.
Locking up Dragic until he's at least 33 for more than $18 million per year comes with considerable risk for a guy whose numbers aren't normally at the level of a max player, except when he's playing the Pacers.
So how would you like to see this trade deadline work out? I'm not opposed to moving David West or Roy Hibbert just because of the nature of their contracts which may make this their last season regardless. It most likely takes a miracle playoff run out of the equation for this year, which stinks but could also keep the Pacers in line for a top ten pick.
It all comes down the the Pacers core of Paul George, Hibbert, West and Hill. Does Larry Bird want to give them at least one more ride or take another path? We should know by Thursday afternoon if not sooner.