Jan 27, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic (1) during the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Suns defeated the Sixers 124-113. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Is Goran Dragic's Play Making Eric Bledsoe Expendable?

Goran Dragic is surpassing all expectations and is showing that he can carry a team.

Don’t forget, these surprising Phoenix Suns are doing all of this without Eric Bledsoe, who is arguably their best player. Should the Suns explore a trade at this point?

The idea of trading away Bledsoe isn’t one that should be taken lightly, but it is one that should be considered. The value that the Suns could bring in via trade is immense, as they could include the Emeka Okafor contract and a combination of picks.

Are there many players in the league that couldn’t be acquired with Bledsoe, Okafor and two first-rounders in the upcoming draft? Exactly.

If the Suns decided to move Bledsoe, that would free up a max-contract slot for next season. With the immense amount of talent about to become free agents, the Suns could load up and become title contenders as soon as next season, without breaking up their current core.

It’s unrealistic to assume Dragic will continue his most recent torrid pace, but consider that his averages to date are 20.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.4 steals. He’s shooting 51.1 percent from the field and 41 percent from the 3-point line. Just a reminder — he makes $7.5 million per year and has a player option in 2015-16.

If the Suns were to move Bledsoe, they’d want to find a partner with a superstar who might want to move. Minnesota is an interesting destination, with all of the Kevin Love rumors circulating. Would the Wolves turn down Bledsoe, Okafor, Channing Frye and a first-round pick for Love and Kevin Martin?

Phoenix would not only have an upgraded starting lineup, but they’d also have the ability to go out and sign one of the premiere free agents this offseason. With the notoriety that the Suns are gaining, they would become more of a desirable destination for veteran free agents as well.

Many who were suggesting that Dragic be used as the trade bait are thinking twice. They don’t want to mess up the chemistry that the team has built and don’t want to break up a team that’s currently No. 6 in the Western Conference. Exploring Bledsoe trades would preserve that chemistry and allow Phoenix to add not one, but two stars.

Michael Dunlap is an NBA credentialed writer who is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief for the Sports Illustrated/Fansided NBA site HoopsHabit.com and the Arizona Sports site HeatWaved.com. He also covers high school sports for The Arizona Republic. Follow me on Twitter @DunlapNBA.


Tags: Phoenix Suns

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