Thanks in large part to Steve Nash, the Brooklyn Nets landed the top buyout market candidate on Monday afternoon. Goran Dragic agreed to sign with Brooklyn for the remainder of the 2021-22 season.
Nash and Dragic’s relationship dates back to their days together with the Phoenix Suns. Dragic was drafted by San Antonio in the second round of the 2008 draft and his draft rights were traded to Phoenix for the draft rights to Malik Hairston.
The two played together for two and a half seasons before Dragic was traded to Houston in 2010-11. The duo will reunite again for the first time in over 10 years.
With Milwaukee’s lack of depth at point guard and the recent injury to Pat Connaughton, it was thought that the Bucks would be the ones to land Dragic. Other teams such as the Clippers, Bulls, and Warriors were also interested in the 35-year-old point guard.
However, Nash and the Nets prevailed.
Goran Dragic reunites with Steve Nash, signs with Brooklyn Nets.
Dragic played in five games for Toronto this season before he stepped away from the team at the end of November to “manage a personal issue.” He was traded to the Spurs ahead of the deadline and the organization bought out his contract.
In 2020-21, Dragic averaged 13.4 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.4 rebounds in the 50 games that he played in for the Heat. He shot 43.2% from the field and 37.3% from the 3-point line.
Whenever the now 14-year veteran was drafted by the Suns, the first thought that crossed his mind was that he’d get to play alongside Nash (subscription required). Now, Dragic has the chance to be coached by him.
Because of Kyrie Irving’s part-time status and Ben Simmons’ ramp-up process, Dragic will have the opportunity to step in and make an immediate impact in Brooklyn. If New York City doesn’t lift its vaccine mandate this season, Dragic will likely be the starting point guard in games played at Barclays Center.
The Nets’ backcourt needed Dragic. To sign him, Brooklyn waived guard Jevon Carter. Although Carter’s played well in recent games, he’s been too inconsistent.
Dragic is not only a reliable ball-handler, but he’s also played in 56 playoff games. In 2020, he averaged 19 points in the 16 games that he played in for Miami in the postseason. He was the Heat’s leading scorer in the playoffs before he tore his plantar fascia in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
The guard hasn’t played in a few months but he’s been staying in shape and working out in South Florida. It’s not yet known when he’ll make his debut with Brooklyn.
Nash has his work cut out for him as he has to find a way to mesh a new-look roster together before the playoffs start in two short months, although his past with Dragic will play to the Nets’ advantage.
All that’s left for Brooklyn to do is to get healthy and build chemistry over its final 23 regular-season games. That sounds easy enough, right?
If it can be done, Brooklyn isn’t going to be a team that opponents want to meet in the playoffs.