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- The Phoenix Suns traded point guard Goran Dragic to the Miami Heat on the NBA’s Trade Deadline on Feb. 19.
- The Suns also traded point guard Isaiah Thomas to the Boston Celtics.
The Phoenix Suns traded 2013-14 NBA Most Improved Player Goran Dragic to the Miami Heat on Feb. 19. The team also sent point guard Isaiah Thomas to the Boston Celtics on the NBA’s 2015 Trade Deadline.
The Phoenix Suns have traded Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas.
ESPN’s Marc Stein’s sources confirmed the Suns have agreed to send Dragic to the Miami Heat together with his brother Zoran for forward Danny Granger, center Justin Hamilton and two first-round draft picks. Stein adds it is still uncertain if there are other components involved in the trade.
USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick also affirms the Dragic deal to Miami, one of the teams he included in his short list should the Suns decide to ship him before the NBA Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. ET on Feb. 19.
Dragic made it known to the media that he wasn’t pleased with the Suns’ three-guard rotation this season. There were times he played with both Eric Bledsoe and Isaiah Thomas on the court for Phoenix. Because of that, he said he will not re-sign with the Suns this summer, per ESPN.
After Phoenix’s practice on Wednesday, he said,”I don’t trust them anymore.”
Amick notes Dragic’s ball-handling responsibilities decreased by as much as 40 percent while he was part of the Suns’ three-guard set in 2014-15.
Stein stresses Dragic doesn’t like “standing in the corner” whenever he’s taking the court. He adds,”Last year was great. This year it’s different…Standing in the corner, it’s not my game.”
Instead, he desires to be part of a club which allows him to “be a point guard, like in the past I was my whole life,” per ESPN.
Bill Duffy, Dragic’s agent, told Stein there was nothing he could do to make his client stay with the Suns.
Dragic is now part of a Heat team that features the likes of Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Luol Deng. Miami is currently 22-30 and holding on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. Dragic should help the team make a strong second-half push for the postseason, says Amick.
Amick emphasizes Dragic gets his wish to be the point guard he wants to be with a strong supporting cast with the Miami Heat.
The Suns completely revamped their three-guard set with the trade of Thomas to the Boston Celtics for shooting guard Marcus Thornton and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2016 first-round draft pick, per ESPN’s Jeff Goodman (via ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg).
Celtics president Danny Ainge told Forsberg his team was “all over the map” in figuring out a sensible deal before the trade deadline hit. It looked like Boston would not make a deal before the trade deadline for the third time in the last four years, but Ainge and Co. struck gold in the coveted Thomas.
Ainge spoke more about Boston’s needs before the looming trade deadline, per Forsberg:
“We’re also looking to acquire players that are already under contract. We really don’t want to get rid of multiple draft picks for players with uncertainty in the free-agent market — a situation like we were in with [Rajon] Rondo…We’re looking for more certainty.
“We really like [the team’s young guards] a lot, but you need depth and you need a lot [of] shooting and scoring at the guard position to be a great team. We like our young kids, also. But we don’t have enough. The talent level that we have right now is not good enough at this moment.”
With Rajon Rondo now with the Dallas Mavericks, Thomas will be part of a strong three-guard rotation for the Celtics that features Avery Bradley and rookie Marcus Smart. This move ought to help Boston chase a playoff spot, as it is currently just one-and-a-half games out of the eight and final berth in the East, says Forsberg.
From a long-term perspective, the ESPN Boston report stresses the Celtics are now able to get the better of the 2013 trade with the Brooklyn Nets involving Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. The Celtics acquired a $12.9 million trade exception from tradine Pierce which they turned into center Tyler Zeller and Thomas. They also got James Young using the Nets’ draft pick last year with two more first-rounders in tow in 2016 and 2018.
Forsberg reports the Nets traded Garnett to his first club, the Minnesota Timberwolves, on the same day the Celtics acquired Thomas. With that, Brooklyn, has no remnants from its 2013 trade with Boston.
Aside from acquiring Thomas, the Celtics also moved forward Tayshaun Prince to his original team, the Detroit Pistons, to prevent buyout negotiations had he not been sent to another team before Thursday’s trade deadline. In exchange, Boston receives Jonas Jerebko and Luigi Datome, per ESPN’s Marc Stein.
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