Point guard Goran Dragic in some ways is emblematic of this summer's free-agent class—a player who has shown flashes of excellence but is far from established. He is 26 and has four seasons under his belt, but the first three of those years were packed with a handful of highs and many more lows. He started just eight games in those three years, averaged a career high of only 7.9 points in his second season and was traded to the Houston Rockets last year. With the Rockets, he was in a firm backup role to starter Kyle Lowry—until March 8, that is, when Lowry was hospitalized with a stomach virus.
That opened the starting job for Dragic, who had previously spent the bulk of his career backing up Steve Nash in Phoenix. Dragic started the final 26 games, and with the two starts he logged in January, his numbers as a starter showed how much he had developed, with averages of 18.0 points and 8.4 assists, while shooting 49.0 percent from the field, 37.9 percent on 3-pointers and 83.9 percent from the free-throw line. Now, as Dragic hits free agency, teams in the market for a point guard have to wonder how to pay him—will his contract be based on the small sample of games he started or on his overall body of work?
Dragic told Sporting News that his preference is to stay in Houston, and the Rockets would like to keep him. "That is what I would want to have," Dragic said. "I really like the Rockets, it is a great organization. I really liked playing for Kevin McHale. He's a great coach, great guy. He was a player so he has had a lot of experience. He helped a lot with me this season, taught me how to run a team. I hope that in the future, I am still going to be with him."
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