When a player is signed during free agency, all that anyone can hope for is that the player lives up to his expectations. For a coaching staff or a front office, the dream scenario would be if the player were to have a career year.
With that being the case, it appears that Suns point guard Goran Dragic has been a dream signing.
Other than the Clippers’ Chris Paul and the Bucks’ Brandon Jennings, Suns point guard Goran Dragic is one of only three NBA players averaging better than 16.0 points, 7.0 assists and 2.0 steals this season. If his pace continues, the Slovenian playmaker would join only Kevin Johnson and Jason Kidd as just the third Sun in franchise history to reach those numbers for an entire season.
The 6-3 floor leader is averaging a career high in points (16.2), assists (7.1) and steals (2.1). He’s leading the entire NBA in steals at home, is 16th amongst all NBA guards in scoring, is leading the Suns in scoring and is 11th the league in assists per game.
Thus far in 2012-13, Dragic is the only Suns player to score in double figures in every game. In addition, he has had the most steals through the first 15 games as anyone since Shawn Marion’s totals during the 2007-08 season.
In fact, Dragic has accumulated multiple steals in a career-high 10 straight-games. Also, to illustrate how much he values protecting the ball, the southpaw guard has nearly as many steals (32), as turnovers (35).
Lastly, he has been deadly from 3-point range, shooting 38 percent on the season. Recently, he’s been even hotter, hitting 10-of-21 in the past four games.
And while all of those statistics are well and good, the reason that Dragic has been so impressive this season doesn’t come down to the numbers. It’s been his feel for the game.
Whenever the Suns go through a scoring draught, Dragic will stop distributing and reel off a double-digit scoring quarter of his own. If Phoenix looks as if its attention is beginning to drift, Dragic will make a play to swing the momentum back in its direction.
His sense of the moment was on display once again Tuesday against the Cavs. The fifth-year guard drilled consecutive 3-pointers that put the Suns up 19 with 4:18 left in the fourth period, while simultaneously crushing any of Cleveland’s hopes for a comeback.
When Dragic was placed on the All-Star ballot earlier this season, he admitted that his childhood dream was to become an NBA All-Star. If he can help the Suns win and continue to be a productive as he has, perhaps his dream – much like Suns’ – might just become a reality.