Knicks Could Chase Former All-Star on the Buyout Market

Goran Dragic John Wall

Getty Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic is defended by John Wall of the Washington Wizards during a 2018 game.

The NBA‘s annual trade bonanza is officially in the rearview mirror and the New York Knicks continue to be the same team they were before the deadline hit. That may have Evan Fournier breathing a big sigh of relief, but it’s probably not a good thing where winning games is concerned.

As constituted, the Knicks are 25-31 and fighting for a spot in the play-in tournament. Clearly, that’s a huge step backward from what the upstart club was able to accomplish last season, their recent upset of the Warriors notwithstanding.

On the plus side, Leon Rose and his brain trust didn’t take on any problematic long-term contracts. In that way, he’s doing better than some of New York’s previous decision-makers. However, Rose failed to fill the gaping hole at point guard or clear out any of the team’s middling vets.

The latter issue can be corrected later. However, he still has an opportunity (and a roster spot) right now to add a new floor general on the buyout market. To that end, former All-Star Goran Dragic could be an option for the Knicks.


New York Had Interest in Dragic at the Deadline


The Goran Dragic Saga Is Over | The Raptors ShowWill Lou and Alex Wong talk about Goran Dragic finishing his controversial spell with the Raptors. ———————————————- Listen to The Raptors Show Podcast: Apple: podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-raptors-show-with-will-lou/id1588453456 Spotify: open.spotify.com/show/6wt378We5vvepSwT6K5RUM Subscribe to Sportsnet on YouTube – sprtsnt.ca/2paAT2L Visit Sportsnet.ca for more sports news and highlights – sportsnet.ca Follow Sportsnet on Facebook – sprtsnt.ca/YTFB Follow Sportsnet on Twitter -…2022-02-10T23:41:46Z

In the days before the trade deadline hit, there were rumblings that the Knicks wanted to swing some of their vets for expiring contracts, and Dragic fit the bill in a major way. As it stands, he’s in the final year of a deal owing him $19.4 million this season.

So, it should come as no surprise that the Knicks made at least some kind of effort to acquire him. Per HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, there was talk of a three-way pact with the Raptors and Lakers that would have brought Dragic to New York while sending Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel and Cam Reddish out of town.

In the end, Dragic found his way to Spurs, who are slated to buy him out.

Although he will have lost his value as an expiring contract, Dragic may still be worth targeting once he’s free of San Antonio for what he brings to the court. Namely, savvy, screen-roll skills and outside shooting.

He’s probably not a player you keep long-term, but if getting into the play-in mix (or better) is the aim, Dragic could give Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau a better option at the point than Kemba Walker’s ghost and/or non-point guard Alec Burks.

Dragic only appeared in five games as a Raptor this season, but he averaged 13.4 points, 4.4. assists and 3.4 rebounds over 50 appearances with the Heat last season. Along the way, he shot 37.3% from three-point range.

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Dragic Could Be a Tough Get

In the immediate aftermath of Dragic’s move to the Spurs, Yahoo! Sports Chris Haynes and others reported that the Mavericks were the likely favorites to land him. And considering his friendship with fellow Slovenian Luka Doncic, as well as Dallas’ status as a stone-cold playoff club, the union makes a ton of sense.

For his part, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski namechecked the Mavs, as well as the Bucks, Bulls and Clippers as potential landing spots. There’s also a possibility the Dragon could end up back in Miami, where he has been seen working out and even attending Heat games recently.

In any case, the Knicks will have their work cut out for them if they decide to pursue Dragic.

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