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Goran Dragic says he’s hoping the Suns are going to fight for the playoffs

Aug 26, 2013, 9:31 PM EDT

Portland Trail Blazers v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

Goran Dragic is on the books for two more years in Phoenix and has a player option for a third, making him the one who the team is most committed to for the foreseeable future.

Dragic is generally one of the more positive guys you’ll talk to around the league, but even he was becoming disillusioned with the way things were unfolding in Phoenix, especially during the latter part of last season.

The franchise has managed to turn things around extremely quickly this offseason, with the hiring of Ryan McDonough as GM and Jeff Hornacek as head coach. The vibe is largely positive around the team now, and after the way things ended last year, that was no small feat to accomplish.

Dragic is likely to be around for a few years, so his view of the way things are shaping up is important. And he likes what he’s seen from the new regime so far.

From Matt Petersen of Suns.com:

“I’m really excited with what they’re doing,” Dragic said. “I talked with [Suns General Manager] Ryan [McDonough]and [Head Coach] Jeff [Hornacek] a couple of times. They told me what they’re doing and how they want to do things. I think it’s awesome.” …

As for Dragic himself, he’s intent on both improving his game while taking care of himself as Eurobasket 2013 unfolds. With self-improvement and an improved supporting cast, last year’s most consistent player is looking for the Suns to take a collective next step in the right direction.

“Right now, my goal is to be healthy, to not have injuries in the European championship,” Dragic said. “When I’m done with that, [I'll] try to play as hard as possible and improve a lot of things. Personally, I’d like to upgrade from how we did last season to this season. I think we have a better team this year. I’m hoping we’re going to fight for the playoffs.”

In the Western Conference — and barring injury to key players, of course — there are six teams that would appear to have playoff spots virtually locked up before the season begins. Then there are the others, most of which would appear to be in a better position to gain a shot at the postseason before this Suns team as currently constructed.

But depending on how quickly things come together under Hornacek, Phoenix could be one of the season’s pleasant surprises, at least offensively. And the team fighting for the playoffs, as Dragic said, doesn’t mean that they’ll actually get there. It would just be a welcome change to the way things went down in Phoenix over the second half of last season.

  1. htownred34 - Aug 26, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    I was sad to see him not stay with us and instead go to the suns again, he probably regrets it now my favorite rocket in that 11-12 season way better than Lin…

  2. hildezero - Aug 26, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    Don’t worry Dragić. It’ll happen.

  3. adamsjohn714 - Aug 26, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    Goran Dragic is hoping the Suns bench Beasley this season.

  4. sunsation3413 - Aug 26, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    They need to cut Beasley lose….they might have made some positive steps with GM and coach but unless Lon Babby steps out of the way they wont be going anywhere soon

    • mickdamill - Aug 27, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      I agree, it’s hard for any of these young players to play the role of a leader on this team with that cancer in the locker room.

  5. adoombray - Aug 26, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    I love the Dragon, but neither him nor Bledsoe are 2 guards. Having those two on the court at the same time is like having two steering wheels on your car. Dragic was kinda effed from the start – I don’t think the team views him as a long term guy, because they drafted Kendall Marshall (who sucks even in the D-League ; ugliest jumper i’ve ever seen) then snatched up Bledsoe. one of those two will be gone by the trade deadline.

    • moseskkim - Aug 26, 2013 at 11:31 PM

      Both are big pg’s and Bledsoe can guard most sgs. They are gonna be running up and down the floor. Both will be integral parts and I don’t think it’s a lock that there’s a trade

      • adoombray - Aug 27, 2013 at 12:28 AM

        Bledsoe is a career 43% shooter and was putrid behind the arc until last season where it was only 39%. The thing about SG is you have to be able to shoot.

      • abchome - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:10 AM

        @adoombray

        “only” 39% behind the arc? 39% is ELITE, if it can be maintained.

      • adoombray - Aug 27, 2013 at 2:53 AM

        39% from behind the arc is good for 33rd ranked according to last years stats. 43% shooting is 95th. I don’t believe that counts as elite, plus, if you’ve watched him play, defenses play 6 feet off the guy because they aren’t afraid of him. He is not a shooting guard.

      • abchome - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:11 AM

        @adoombray

        Ray Allen is career 40.1% from 3, while Reggie Miller is career 39.5%. 39% is very good, if you don’t like “elite”. Of course, consistency is the key and that’s why I said “if it can be maintained”.

      • casualcommenter - Aug 28, 2013 at 9:06 PM

        If 39% isn’t good enough from behind the arc to be an effective shooting guard, then Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant must not have been effective shooting guards (both regularly shot below 39% from behind the arc for most of their careers).

  6. 00maltliquor - Aug 27, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    14th seed out West. Sorry Goran. West is too loaded.

  7. rohlo - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    goran if you wanted playoffs you should have re-signed in houston..cant blame anyone but yourself.. IMO he is better than Lin Go Rockets !!!

  8. hildezero - Aug 27, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    @00maltliqour

    That’s not true. Don’t talk like that to Goran. He’ll kick your ass.

  9. saint1997 - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    With Bledsoe and Goodwin, surely the Suns have to flick him for a mid range pick in this years draft

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