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After informing the Phoenix Suns that Goran Dragic won't re-sign an extension this summer, agent Bill Duffy delivered the Phoenix Suns a list of preferred trade destinations that includes the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Miami Heat, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Indiana Pacers have maintained a consistent interest with Dragic, and their need for a point guard – and ability to be a contender with the return of Paul George – makes them a destination Dragic could possibly OK, league sources said.
Dragic, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, can dictate the terms of a trade because teams will be cautious about acquiring him unless they believe they have a chance to re-sign him in July.
The Suns have until 3 p.m. ET at Thursday's trade deadline to make a deal, or risk losing Dragic without compensation this summer. Phoenix could still decide to hold onto Dragic, knowing it can offer more years and money than anyone else in July free agency.
Or, the Suns could remain defiant of doing deals with those chosen teams, trade Dragic elsewhere and dare him to take less guaranteed years and money to join the Lakers, Knicks or Heat. If Dragic isn't traded, he could sign a maximum free-agent deal for four years, $80 million with New York or Los Angeles. The Suns – or a team that acquires him and his Bird rights – could sign Dragic for five years, $100 million-plus.
The Houston Rockets have interest in reacquiring him, but Dragic has privately indicated his fear of Houston trading him in the years after signing him to a deal makes him uneasy about a deal there.
Until Tuesday night, the Suns had been given hope that moving guard Isaiah Thomas would make Dragic more comfortable with re-signing, but it became clear in a meeting with management that he no longer wants to share a backcourt with Thomas and Eric Bledsoe, league sources said.
The Suns had been shopping Thomas and guard Gerald Green.
The Suns are in a difficult position to gain assets for Dragic, because three of the teams – the Lakers, Heat and Knicks – do not have significant trade pieces available for deals. If one of those teams believes it has an inside track on signing Dragic, it'll be even less apt to give away trade chips now when it could simply sign him into salary-cap space this summer.
Dragic, 28, is averaging 16.2 points, 4.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds, and has been unhappy with the chemistry of the Suns' three-guard lineup that includes Bledsoe and Thomas.
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