Goran Dragić

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Goran Dragić
Goran Dragić crop.jpg
Goran Dragić with the Phoenix Suns
No. 1 – Phoenix Suns
Position Point guard / Shooting guard
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1986-05-06) 6 May 1986 (age 28)
Ljubljana, SR Slovenia, SFR Yugoslavia
Nationality Slovenian
Listed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight 190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
NBA draft 2008 / Round: 2 / Pick: 45th overall
Selected by the San Antonio Spurs
Pro career 2003–present
Career history
2003–2004 Ilirija Ljubljana (Slovenia)
2004–2006 KD Slovan (Slovenia)
2006–2007 CB Murcia (Spain)
2007–2008 Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia)
20082011 Phoenix Suns
20112012 Houston Rockets
2011 Saski Baskonia (Spain)
2012–present Phoenix Suns
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com

Goran Dragić (born May 6, 1986) is a Slovenian professional basketball player with the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He plays at both the point guard and shooting guard positions. He signed with the Phoenix Suns of the NBA on September 22, 2008.[1] On February 24, 2011, the Suns traded Dragić to the Houston Rockets with a first round lottery protected draft pick for point guard Aaron Brooks. However, Dragić decided to return to the Suns during the 2012 NBA free agency period.

Pro career[edit]

Europe[edit]

Dragić began his professional career in the year 2003 at the age of 17 with the Slovenian 2D League club Ilirija Ljubljana. He played there for one year before transferring to the Slovenian Premier A League and Adriatic League club KD Slovan in 2004. After spending two years with Slovan, he transferred to the Spanish ACB club Baskonia, who loaned him to club CB Murcia in 2006.

Dragić joined the Slovenian League, Adriatic League and Euroleague club Olimpija Ljubljana in the year 2007, and he played there for one year, during the 2007–08 season, winning the Slovenian League championship with them.

NBA[edit]

Phoenix Suns[edit]

Dragić entered the 2008 NBA Draft, where he was selected in the second round, 45th overall, by the San Antonio Spurs. His draft rights were then traded to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for the draft rights to Malik Hairston, the 48th pick. It was stated from Steve Kerr (the team's general manager at the time) that he wanted to draft Goran with the 48th pick, but he was worried that his availability wouldn't have made him last long enough, so a trade with San Antonio was established during the draft. After the Suns finished a deal with TAU Ceramica (now known as Caja Laboral), with whom he was under contract, they officially signed him on September 22, 2008.[1] The Suns hoped that he would take over the starting point guard position after Steve Nash relinquished it.[1][2] On January 25, 2010, Dragić scored a career high 32 points, hitting 6 of 7 three-pointers in a losing effort against the Utah Jazz.[3]

On May 7, 2010, during game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals, he led a Phoenix Suns comeback against the team that originally drafted him, the San Antonio Spurs, scoring 23 of his total 26 points in the fourth quarter. Dragić scored his points on 10/13 FG attempts including 5/5 three-pointers and a 4 point play, as the Suns overcame an early 18-point deficit to defeat the Spurs 110–96 and take a 3–0 lead in their best of seven series in the Western Conference Semifinals. "I think it's safe to say that may have been the best fourth-quarter performance I have ever seen in a playoff game," Suns forward Grant Hill said.[4]

Houston Rockets[edit]

On February 24, 2011, at the NBA Trade Deadline, Dragić was traded to the Houston Rockets along with the lottery protected first round pick Phoenix received in an earlier trade with the Orlando Magic in exchange for Aaron Brooks.[5][6]

Dragić notched his first career NBA triple-double on April 13, 2011 against the Minnesota Timberwolves. In 45 minutes Dragić had 11 points, 11 assists, and 11 rebounds. Dragić also blocked a shot in the Rockets' blowout win.

2011 NBA Lockout[edit]

During the 2011 NBA lockout he signed with Saski Baskonia (which was Dragić's initial continuation spot for Europe had he not signed with the Suns earlier) in Spain.[7] He played for a brief period of time there until the lockout ended. On December 8, 2011, the day before the 2011 NBA lockout ended and players could move between teams, the Rockets, the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Hornets agreed to a trade that would have sent Dragić, along with Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, and Lamar Odom to New Orleans. In exchange, the Rockets would have received Pau Gasol, and the Lakers would have received star point guard Chris Paul. That night, after other team owners voiced their opposition, league commissioner David Stern nullified the trade.[8]

Return to the NBA[edit]

Return to Houston[edit]

Dragić and Patrick Patterson in 2012 as Houston Rockets players.

Dragić returned to the Rockets after the lockout ended. Throughout most of the season, Dragić continued to be used as a bench player as a means to help the Rockets out during the lockout shortened season. In March 2012, he filled in for Kyle Lowry, who was out with a bacterial infection. On April 9, 2012, Dragić won the Western Conference Player of the Week.[9]

Return to Phoenix[edit]

In 2012, Dragić became an unrestricted free agent. He agreed to sign a 4 year, $30 million deal with a player option on the final year with the Phoenix Suns[10] and officially became a member of the team again on July 19, 2012. He was brought in to replace Steve Nash, whom he played behind during his first stint with the Suns, as starting point guard. On February 19, 2013, Dragić recorded a career-high 18 assists to go with 14 points as the Suns defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 102–98. Dragić nearly recorded a triple-double against the Brooklyn Nets with 31 points, 12 assists, and 9 rebounds on March 24, 2013. Despite suffering through a 25–57 season, Dragić ended up gaining some career high moments in the process.

After getting Eric Bledsoe from a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers, the Suns ultimately decided to move Dragić to the shooting guard position as a means of putting less pressure on Dragić to distribute the ball to his teammates. In his first game playing with Eric as a teammate, Dragić led the team with 26 points and 9 assists in a 104–91 season opening victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. Dragić had over 8 games with 30 points or more, including a double-double of 31 points and 10 assists in a victory against the Portland Trail Blazers on November 27, 2013. He also had what was, at the time, a career high 33 points in a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on January 2, 2014. On February 3, 2014, Dragić won his second career Western Conference Player of the Week award and his first with the Suns for games played between January 27 and February 2, 2014.[11] Three days later, he was paired with Oklahoma City Thunder guard Reggie Jackson in the revamped Skills Challenge at the All-Star weekend

On February 8, 2014, Dragić had attempted only 13 field-goals, but scored a career-high 34 points along with 10 assists in a 122–109 home victory over the Golden State Warriors.[12] On February 23, 2014, Dragić scored a new career-high 35 points, along with 3 assists and 3 steals, in a 112–115 loss to the Houston Rockets.[13][14] On February 28, 2014, he recorded a new career-high 40 points, along with 3 rebounds and 5 assists, in a 116–104 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.[15][16] He became the first player, since Rod Strickland in 1985-86, to set career-highs in points three times in a single month. Dragić also became the sixth player, after his head coach Jeff Hornacek, Dražen Petrović, Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant, to join the 20-50-40 Club — averaging 20 or more points per game while shooting 50%+ from the field and 40%+ on three-pointers.[17][18] He also averaged over 5 assists per game throughout the season as well, leaving him joining the likes of Larry Bird, Jeff Hornacek and LeBron James.[19][20]

On April 23, 2014, Dragić won the 2014 NBA Most Improved Player Award.[21] One month later, he would end up being honored by his home nation with their national "Apple of Inspiration" award for being a role model and inspiring hope in Slovenia, as well as helping out the nation's community with humanitarian activities.[22] Finally, on June 4, 2014, Dragić was named to the 2014 All-NBA third team alongside Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Al Jefferson and Paul George.[23]

Slovenian national basketball team[edit]

Junior national team[edit]

Dragić won the gold medal at the 2004 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship with the Slovenian junior national team. He also played at the 2005 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship.

Senior national team[edit]

Dragić competed with the senior men's Slovenian national basketball team at the 2006 FIBA World Championship and the 2007 European Championship in limited roles. Dragić's role with the Slovenian national basketball team began to increase in the 2009 European Championship and the 2010 FIBA World Championship. He then played with his brother Zoran in the 2011 European Championship and the 2013 European Championship, the latter held in Slovenia. During the 2013 tournament, Goran and his brother helped lead Slovenia to a 5th place finish and a spot in the 2014 FIBA World Championship. Goran finished in the 2013 European Championship's top five in points and assists, which earned him a spot on the All-Tournament Team. In 2014, Dragić was named Slovenia's team captain after Jaka Lakovič retired from international play. In the friendly matches before the 2014 FIBA World Championship, Dragić rested in 9 of their 14 matches before actually playing in the championship matches. After finishing up their friendly matches, Dragić played with no restrictions beyond the rest of the competition; he was the only All-NBA team member to play in the 2014 World Cup aside from Team USA.

Personal life[edit]

Dragić was born to a Slovenian mother and a Serbian father.[24] He grew up in Slovenia playing soccer. However, an injury forced him to switch sports. As a child in Europe, he admired NBA players Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson and former teammate Steve Nash, and woke up at 3 in the morning to watch NBA games.[25] He is fluent in Slovenian, Serbian, Spanish, and English.[26] Dragić has a younger brother, Zoran, who also plays professional basketball.[27] Zoran was named to the Houston Rockets' 2012 Summer League team. He is currently a teammate for the Phoenix Suns as of the 2014 pre-season.

In August 2013, Dragić married his long-time girlfriend, Maja.[28][29] In November 2013, Dragić's first son, Mateo, was born.[30]

Awards and accomplishments[edit]

NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2008–09 Phoenix 55 1 13.2 .393 .370 .769 1.9 2.0 .5 .1 4.5
2009–10 Phoenix 80 2 18.0 .452 .394 .736 2.1 3.0 .6 .1 7.9
2010–11 Phoenix 48 2 17.8 .421 .277 .608 1.8 3.1 .8 .1 7.4
2010–11 Houston 22 3 17.2 .472 .519 .667 2.5 2.5 .6 .2 7.7
2011–12 Houston 66 28 26.5 .462 .337 .805 2.5 5.3 1.3 .2 11.7
2012–13 Phoenix 77 77 33.5 .443 .319 .748 3.1 7.4 1.6 .3 14.7
2013–14 Phoenix 76 75 35.1 .505 .408 .760 3.2 5.9 1.4 .3 20.3
Career 424 188 24.5 .461 .365 .747 2.5 4.5 1.0 .2 11.5

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2010 Phoenix 16 0 14.8 .430 .325 .742 1.8 2.3 .3 .1 7.6
Career 16 0 14.8 .430 .325 .742 1.8 2.3 .3 .1 7.6

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Suns Sign Goran Dragic | The Official Site Of The Phoenix Suns". Nba.com. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  2. ^ "New suns may play tonight". Azcentral.com. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  3. ^ Loren Jorgensen (2010-01-26). "Utah Jazz: Little-known Dragic enjoys career night for Suns". Deseret News. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  4. ^ "Phoenix Suns vs. San Antonio Spurs - Recap - May 07, 2010 - ESPN". Scores.espn.go.com. 2010-05-07. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  5. ^ "Phoenix Suns trade Goran Dragic for Aaron Brooks from Houston Rockets". azcentral.com. Retrieved 2011-08-25. 
  6. ^ "Rockets trade Battier, Brooks in separate deals". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-08-25. 
  7. ^ "CAJA LABORAL tabs guard Dragic - 2011-12 SIGNINGS - Welcome to EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL". Euroleague.net. 2011-11-20. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  8. ^ Wojnarowski, Adrian (December 9, 2011). "Teams still pushing for Paul trade". Yahoo! Sports. 
  9. ^ "Rockets' Dragic, Heat's James named Players of the Week". NBA.com. 2012-04-09. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  10. ^ "Goran Dragic Salary Cap, Contracts, Salaries, Cap Hits, & News Profile". Spotrac.com. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  11. ^ "Lowry, Dragic named Players of the Week". NBA.com. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  12. ^ "Notebook: Suns 122, Warriors 109". NBA.com. February 8, 2014. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  13. ^ Notebook: Rockets 115, Suns 112
  14. ^ Goran Dragic Scores a Career-High 35 Points on YouTube
  15. ^ Notebook: Suns 116, Pelicans 104
  16. ^ Goran Dragic Scores a Career High... for the Second Time This Week! on YouTube
  17. ^ http://www.brightsideofthesun.com/2014/4/7/5588628/phoenix-suns-goran-dragic-about-to-join-exclusive-20-50-40-club
  18. ^ http://valleyofthesuns.com/2014/04/16/goran-dragic-joins-hornacek-petrovic-on-exclusive-list/
  19. ^ http://www.brightsideofthesun.com/2014/4/23/5643752/phoenix-suns-goran-dragic-named-nbas-most-improved-player-for-2013-14
  20. ^ http://www.brightsideofthesun.com/2014/6/4/5779748/phoenix-suns-goran-dragic-named-to-2013-14-all-nba-third-team
  21. ^ Suns' Dragic wins Kia Most Improved Player award
  22. ^ Basketball Player Dragić Honoured by President Pahor
  23. ^ Durant, LeBron headline 2013-14 All-NBA First Team
  24. ^ [1][dead link]
  25. ^ "Goran Dragic Stats, Video, Bio, Profile". NBA.com. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  26. ^ "Goran Dragic Stats, Video, Bio, Profile | NBA.com". Nba.us. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  27. ^ "Zoran Dragic Basketball Player Profile, baloncesto, basquetbol, basquet, Unicaja, International Stats, Game Logs". Eurobasket. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  28. ^ "Dragić vzel le en prost dan, da se je oženil". Delo.si. 2013-08-23. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  29. ^ "Sloveniji bo zdaj poveljeval poročeni Dragić | EP 2013 - Planet". Siol.net. 2013-08-22. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  30. ^ "Defense has helped the Suns become the NBA’s surprise team". Valleyofthesuns.com. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  31. ^ "Dragic Honored with MVP, Yi Entered Best Team_2010 DONGFENG YUEDA KIA STANKOVIC CONTINENTAL CUP". Bscup.tom.com. 2010-08-01. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  32. ^ "Rockets' Dragić, Heat's James named Players of the Week". Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  33. ^ "Dragić Named Western Conference Player of Week". 
  34. ^ "Dragic presented with 'Apple of Inspiration' from Slovenian president". Retrieved 23 May 2014. 

External links[edit]