Lakers News: Rounding Up Buzz Surrounding Potential Goran Dragic Trade

Not much has gone right for the Los Angeles Lakers this season. The team can't seem to shake the injury bug, as Steve Nash, Julius Randle and Kobe Bryant have been lost for the year, while Jordan Hill and Nick Young have battled ailments of their own. Making matters worse, the Lakers entered the All-Star break with a 13-40 record—good enough for fourth-worst in the NBA.

So, the plan is to just tank from here on out and get a top-five draft pick, right? Not quite.

Contrary to conventional thinking, the Lakers have been rumored to be in the market to deal for Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic before the Feb. 19 trade deadline. Just in case you aren't aware of what Phoenix wants in return, take a peek at this tweet from Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times:

Yes, that would be an asking price of a first-round pick, and that's where things get interesting.

The Lakers already owe the Suns a first-round pick this year from the Nash trade in 2013. However, it's a top-five-protected pick. Since Los Angeles is currently in line to receive a pick within the top five, this scenario would defer to 2016.

Now keep that in mind and consider Dragic is in the final year of his current four-year, $30 million deal and is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Not only would the Lakers have to give up a first-round pick to the Suns for the guard, but Dragic could essentially leave the team following the season.

Ryan Ward of Lakers Nation put it best:

Here's the burning question: Why on Earth would the Lakers pursue Dragic now instead of simply targeting him in free agency?

Marc Stein of may have the answer:

Sources said that the Rockets, who let Dragic go in free agency in the summer of 2012 but have him high on their list of free-agent targets this summer, are prominent among the teams hoping to engage the Suns in s...

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