The Phoenix Suns have the tough task of moving on from one of the most successful eras in their history.
Goran Dragic is the point guard now entrusted with the duties of running this team and helping the fanbase forget about their most beloved player.
Dragic started his career with Phoenix and was the backup to Nash. In February 2011, he was part of a trade to Houston for guard Aaron Brooks.
He didn’t make a ton of noise in Houston, largely due to a lack of playing time, but when the Rockets Kyle Lowry went down with an injury this past season, it was Dragic who had to step up. He surprised many with his scoring ability, passing and basketball IQ.
Averaging 26 minutes of action, he put up nearly 12 points and more than five assists a game. In Phoenix, his minutes will only get higher, which should lead to increased production.
So, just how big an impact can Dragic make? Well, his playing style is in some ways very similar to Nash’s.
He tends to drive a lot in order to draw defenders and kick the ball out to the open man. He is also a decent shooter, making sure that defenders can't sag off him. His defense is a big upgrade over Nash’s and while he is not an elite defender, he can still be disruptive and provide a challenge to most NBA point guards.
The best way for fans to completely forget about Nash would be for the Suns make the playoffs. This is something that they have failed to do the last two seasons, and if Dragic is able to lead Phoenix to the postseason, the loss of Nash won’t hurt that bad.
With the Dragic's arrival, fans will see a different offensive flow. While Dragic can run, he is not going to run the same fast-paced offense that Nash did.
The offense will be slower and more methodical. Scola is a key addition to the post and, alongside center Marcin Gortat, will help form a dominant frontcourt. If Dragic manages to lead the new Suns to the playoffs in his first year as a starter, then who knows what can come next.
For all of his accomplishments on the court, Steve Nash never got to the NBA Finals. The current Suns team is far from being a championship contender, but they have some nice young pieces and some cap room with which to work.
Dragic has big shoes to fill, and I, for one, cannot wait to see what he brings to the Suns.
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