|Team: Suns College Team: Heat|
H: 6' 4"|
W: 200 lbs
(29 Years Old)
|Agent: Rade Filipovich |
Hometown: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Drafted: Pick 45 in 2008 by Spurs
Best Case: Jason Hart
Worst Case: Orien Greene
- Like Batum, Dragic made a lone appearance here in Treviso after finishing off his regular season in Slovenia. In his one game, he managed to leave a very strong impression, one that could very well have pushed his name back into the second round, possibly into the mid-portion of it even.
|Jonathan Givony, DraftExpress|
One of the key players on the Slovenian team, Dragic has provided a lot of energy for talented-depleted Union Olimpija, although not enough to avoid missing the Top-16 stage.
Still not a solid distributor, not your classic game director, Dragic is more of a drive-and-dish point guard who likes the transition game. He doesnít show great court vision, but relies on his remarkable quickness and decent ball-handling skills to beat his opponents off the dribble in order to unbalance the defense and feed the open man, or to look for his own layup. The downside of his style comes in the form of out-of-control penetrations, questionable decision making, or some rushed passes. Able to shoot the ball with nice range, the lefty playmaker still needs to gain a lot of consistency with his perimeter stroke.
Defense comes as a very strong point for him. He enjoys solid lateral quickness, some serious aggressiveness, and the length to annoy his opponents, so he can be pretty effective on his match-up.
Generally speaking, Dragic still needs to gain consistency in his game, take better decisions and show more poise running the point. Indeed, he plays on loan in Ljubljana from Tau Vitoria, and itís not clear that the Spanish powerhouse will be that interested in having him back already next season.
Draft-wise, heís probably second round material, the typical player to invest a late pick on and leave in Europe in the hope that he matures and develops his game. At least he enjoys good enough physical tools to eventually make it to the NBA.
Goran Dragic had his coming out party at the Eurobasket this summer, where all his strengths and weaknesses were exposed against Europeís finest. Being loaned from Spanish powerhouse Tau Ceramica for the second year in a row, Dragic is still proving himself on the European scene. Coming back home to Ljubljana was expected to make things easier for him in terms of working on his offensive game, as he is getting more touches and larger responsibility on that end of the floor.
Dragic is shooting 9/30 from downtown combined in the Euroleague and Adriatic league. He has started the season well, but has cooled off lately and is still lacking confidence in his ability to stroke the ball from the perimeter. Dragicís mechanics are not terrible, but a steadier follow through and a more consistent release point would help. Being labeled as a poor shooter, defenders are backing off of him, making it harder for him to get into the lane. He is still able to score on drives to the hoop thanks his combination of size, quickness and good finishing ability, but a lack of a consistent shot is a big hindrance to his game.
Dargic is a solid, but not incredibly instinctive playmaker at this point. His decision making can be questionable at times, as he tries to make tough passes in traffic, over-penetrates and can turn the ball over under pressure. Heís not the most fluid, imaginative point guard around. His turnovers per game (2.9) are high considering how much offense is run through him. Goran has good court vision and very solid ball-handling skills, enabling him to create looks off the bounce. He is a willing passer and delivers the ball better while on the move than from static positions. Dragic is a very good finisher, nicely using both hands and getting proper lift.
The Slovenian is slowly turning himself into one of the best defensive players at his position in Europe. He did a tremendous job defending Tony Parker in the Eurobasket, and is continuing his great defensive display in the Euroleague. Goran has great size for a PG (6-foot-4), is athletic, with good lateral quickness, and has excellent defensive fundamentals. He fights through screens despite his slight build, gets into the passing lanes, and is very aggressive with his ability to create extra possessions for his team. The majority of European point guards didnít succeed in the NBA because of either athletic shortcomings or lack of defensive resilience. Dragic passes the test in both categories and then some.
Dragic has done a great job of making himself familiar to NBA executives with his excellent perfomance at the Eurobasket. He will be automatically eligible for next yearís draft, and if he wants to establish himself as a solid first round pick, he should show improvement in his perimeter shooting ability, as well as his ability to run a team. His offensive game as a whole is below average for a NBA guard.
Dragic is the lone NBA draft prospect seeing significant playing time in this tournament, and he seems to have helped himself from the scouts and executives weíve spoken with. Heís impressed with his combination of size and athleticism at the point guard position, but especially with the defense heís played on nearly everyone he matched up with. Dragic is a very tough kid--evidenced by him playing with a mask the entire tournament and then taking it off midway through the Lithuania gameóand heís not afraid to stick his nose in and get dirty to make a big play for his team. His ability to anticipate steals and get in the passing lane has been nothing short of phenomenal from what weíve seen so far. Offensively heís played both the 1 and the 2 spots alternating with Jaka Lakovic, and has done a solid job executing his teamís offense and picking his spots unselfishly. His team might need him to use his athleticism even more to create his own shot from the perimeter and get to the basket, as theyíve become somewhat predictable pounding the ball inside on every possession and could really use another shot-creating threat to emerge in the elimination rounds. Dragic has looked pretty good finishing around the hoop in transition and getting to the basket a few occasions, even if he clearly needs to improve his ball-handling skills and especially his perimeter shooting ability.[Read Full Article]
This Slovenian youngster had a brilliant Adriatic league campaign last season, coming out of nowhere to emerge as one of, if not the most impressive, point guard in the Balkans. His great display was well noticed from both National team coach and top-notch European teams. Even if Dragic probably wonít see much of daylight at the World Championship, it is already an accomplishment for him being on the 12-man roster at the tender age of 20.
Goran is facing an uncertain situation about his destination next year. Even if it was already reported that Spanish powerhouse Tau Ceramica signed him, the General manager of Geoplin, Janez Rajgelj, is not giving up so easy on him, claiming that there was no buyout clause in Dragicís contract which would enable to move to Spain for just 70,000 Euros compensation, like Tau claims. Instead, he is demanding Ä700,000 for the teamís star. Since the two sides canít come to an agreement, the issue will probably be resolved in the court.
With Euroleague stars Jaka Lakovic and Sani Becirovic, together with Spurs backup Beno Udrih manning the guard positions, there isnít much room for Dragic and he is currently out of the rotation seeing limited minutes or logging DNPís even in warm-up games. This was expected since Dragic has no experience at such a high level and coach Pipan is obviously not comfortable with him running the point, though this could change in the near future. Goran has a chance to see some playing time against opponents with big, athletic guards, since he has more length, better lateral quickness and overall defensive ability then the aforementioned trio. It wouldnít be surprising at all to see coach Pipan sicking him on USA star Dwyane Wade.
Dragic is a player with very nice physical attributes, featuring very good size for a point guard combined with a long wingspan, impressive quickness in all directions and an advanced skill-set. He is already a capable defender despite his lack of body strength, showing aggressiveness and a demeanor rarely seen in youngsters. Offensively, he relies on his slashing game, where he is very successful because of his speed and developed mid-range game. His biggest flaws at the moment are streaky shooting from long distance and lack of craftiness and maturity in running the team. Goran is a very talented player, who will be the cornerstone of Slovenia in the future, but this campaign is more about gaining experience than anything for him.
While watching Dragic get his first serious senior action last June in the Slovenian Championship, few would have imagined that heíd end up exploding like he has this year, developing into one of best PGs of the competition seemingly overnight.
After playing the way he has, Dragic now has plenty of options for next season, and while he has a contract with his team Slovan, it isnít likely that he will stay there, since there are numerous top European clubs such as Real Madrid that are interested in him. There is a rumor that he already signed a 5 year deal with the Spanish powerhouse, but nothing has been officialy confirmed yet.
The NBA is certainly an option for Dragic too, and according to what his BDA Sports Management agency told us earlier on in the year, there is a strong possibility he will be putting his name in the draft. He is looking for a guarantee in the first round to stay in, and many feel he has a pretty good shot at getting one if he can find a way to come over to the States and impress in workouts.
His team was in contention for the Final 8, but fell one win short, and if not for Dragic they would have been close to the bottom on the table. Two things jump out at you when watching Dragic. First is his aggressive approach on defense, not at all common for young players, especially Europeans. The second are his leadership skills in crunch time, where he always wants to have the ball in his hands and actually won a few games for Geoplin during the season.
Dragic was a huge factor in Geoplinís offense with his ability to play off the dribble, drive and dish, and put great pressure on the opposing teamís PG. The sophomore season is always harder for youngsters so it will be pretty interesting to see what he can do next year if he stays in Europe. And he should, because he doesnít have enough experience to run an NBA team as soon as next season. His body is also clearly not prepared for NBA action, which would likely mean some seasoning in the NBDL, something that a rising star in European basketball might not be all that attracted to.
Dragic didnít play as a full-time PG this year, and there are quite a few aspects of his game in need of improvement. First is his long-distance shooting, which has been inconsistent throughout the season. The limited success of European guards in the NBA, an unknown or nonexistent buyout and being on a rather poor squad are other factors that could force Dragic to wait another year.
Still, considering that this PG class is pretty average as far as NCAA players go, many teams could be tempted by his quickness, size, defense, attitude and his already excellent production at a very young age. With the way he has been performing this year and the way he has improved as of late, Dragic has an outside shot at making the Slovenian National team for this summerís World Championships in Japan, where his team will face Team USA, amongst others.
Despite not having an inordinate amount of basketball clubs expected to produce players with NBA talent year after year, the tiny country of Slovenia (population: 2 million) is developing yet another guard that is just starting to emerge on the radar.
It certainly wouldnít be their first. Prior to an injury, eventual Denver Nuggets draftee Sani Becirovic was called the 2nd coming of Drazen Petrovic. Sasha Vujacic showed flashes of brilliance in the Italian league before being drafted in the 1st round by the Los Angeles Lakers. And Beno Udrih is probably the best 3rd string PG in the League after working his way into the 1st round via the Chicago pre-draft camp. Still, there is one new kid who might end up being significantly better player then these three. His name is Goran Dragic.
After warming the bench for most of the last season, Dragic saw good minutes in the closing stages of the Slovenian Championship and played fairly well. Going into this season, many expected him to be an integral part of Geoplinís rotation, but very few projected that he would end up being one of the best playmakers in the Adriatic league.
|Photo: Adriatic Basketball Association|