New Chicago Bulls point guard Goran Dragic brings 14 years’ worth of NBA experience to the backcourt. It’s a group that already features a trio of solid defenders, a pure scorer, and a wild card rookie.
But what it didn’t have was a veteran with the experience leading an offense – especially in the playoffs – as Dragic does.
In addition to his decade-plus spent in the Association, Dragic has 60 games of playoff experience including 37 starts in a career that has taken him to five different teams, three in the postseason.
His longest–standing commitment, however, has seen him climb to the top.
Goran Dragic Legendary Overseas
Before he ever came to the U.S. to play professionally, Dragic began his pro career as a 17-year-old with the Slovenian minor league in 2003. He continues to play – and even thrive – with Slovenia alongside friend and Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic.
He recently made headlines after suffering a minor injury during a friendly match against the Serbian National Team after convincing Bulls brass to let him play internationally.
Dragic recovered fast and was back in action for Slovenia a few days later in another friendly.
During the FIBA World Cup 2023 Qualifiers, Dragic accomplished a rather lofty feat for his homeland.
“Goran Dragić became Slovenia’s best scorer in official matches with the last basket. It is currently at 991 points.”
A few spots below Dragic on that list is his brother, Zoran Dragic, who checks in at fifth all-time.
It is quite the decorated career for a player that, at 36 years old, some have questioned if he has anything left.
Dragic’s Potential Impact
Though heavy on guards, the Bulls are light on floor generals. With the uncertainty around starting point guard Lonzo Ball, Dragic’s exact role remains unclear. But he has said that he is still capable of playing big minutes. That is one of the reasons that he spurned Doncic and the Mavericks in favor of the Bulls.
Dragic is not the playmaker that Ball is. Nor is he anywhere close to the defender. But he is the Bulls’ best option with a higher rate of assist points added per 75 possessions than any of the others last season, per Basketball Index.
His play in FIBA play had been promising before the matchup against Germany which Slovenia lost 90-71.
It was an especially rough outing for Dragic according to BasketNews.
“Dragic noticeably struggled, especially during the first half when he missed all of his shots and had a PIR of -5. Late in the match, the Chicago Bulls guard picked up a technical foul after an unsuccessful episode on the offensive end.”
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 14 points, 4.5 assists, and 1.5 rebounds in three qualifying games for Slovenia.
That was similar to his 10.5/4.5/1.5 line with the Nets in this past postseason.
The Dragon’s Journey
Dragic was originally a second-round pick (45th overall) of the San Antonio Spurs in 2008 but was traded to the Phoenix Suns. He spent four full seasons and parts of two others split into two separate stints with a season and a half with the Houston Rockets in between.
Opinions on his play last season have been as split as the year was.
Dragic began the campaign with the Toronto Raptors, a situation he was vocal about disliking at the time. He then went to the Brooklyn Nets after being traded to and subsequently waived (ironically) by the Spurs.
That situation, Dragic has let on, was also less than ideal but he did not seem to foresee that happening in Chicago after being recruited by Bulls center Nikola Vucevic.