Point: The Backcourt of the Future

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Published: May 15, 2012

Part 1 of Jake and Ryan’s debate on whether the Hornets should sign Goran Dragic during free agency.

With the off-season underway for the Hornets, GM Dell Demps and head coach Monty Williams should have one name at the top of their free agent wish list: Goran Dragic.

For most of the season Dragic was solid yet unspectacular, but when Houston’s starting point guard Kyle Lowry went down with an injury, Dragic stepped in and kept the team in the playoff race. Not only that, but he was putting up All-Star numbers. In 27 games as a starter Dragic averaged 18.4 points, 8.3 assists, 3.4 rebounds per game, 49.6% shooting and 39.4% three-point shooting. For the season Dragic had a true shooting percentage of 56.7%, well above the Hornets’ average of 52.7%

But it goes beyond his individual statistics; Dragic also raises his team’s level of play. When Dragic is on the court, the team’s true shooting percentage jumps up a full 3%. This is the result of him getting the ball to the rest of the team in their favorite spots. This is also why his assist percentage jumped over 7% to 34.6% as a starter.

Contrast that with the Hornets current starter Jarrett Jack. With Jack on the court, the Hornets’ true shooting percentage declines 1% and their rebound rate drops 2%. Not only does the team play slightly worse offense with Jack, he really hurts the team’s defense as well. Opponent free throw rate and steal rate both increase by 5%, and opponent shooting percentage increases by 4%. Dragic’s presence on the other hand neither hurts nor helps his teams defense, though 82games.com lists his opponent PER as a below average 12.7. (While Jack’s is a terrible 16.7)

While Dragic may not be able to keep up the same level of play, the beauty is that he doesn’t need to. With Eric Gordon in the fold, Dragic would be the second offensive option. He would be able to focus on distributing the ball while still being able to take on the scoring burden when Gordon is out or having an off game.

Dragic will have many suitors this offseason and is expected to receive a contract worth 8 to 10 million a year. And you know what? I’m totally okay with that. The free agent pool is fairly weak and next season there are almost no desirable unrestricted point guards. Yeah it might be a little too much given what his production will most likely be, but if he lives up to what we’ve seen this season, Dragic could be a steal.

Plus, there is soooo much nickname potential.

The Hornets have a chance to lock up their starting backcourt for the next 4 seasons and they need to jump at the chance to do it.

20 comments
NOS-3RD GEN
NOS-3RD GEN

Point Guards top 5 targets 1-RAJON RONDO 2-RICKY RUBIO 3-JRUE HOLIDAY 4-DARREN COLLISON 5-D.J.AUGUSTINE Sorry no time to waste on money hungry ballerz that won't live up to the hype

NOH2313
NOH2313

Yes, yes, yes. What a young and upcoming backcourt we would have. Im all for it.

Jo D
Jo D

Finally! Yes! Get Jack out of here! I would be all for Dragic... He deserves a shot at running a team. Plus he learned from Steve Nash. That's Big! Admittedly, I'm ready to give anyone a shot. Just trade jack for a late first it even a second round pick. Or sign someone to make jack the backup. Jarret Jack just isn't what he thinks he is. He stepped up as a leader but he wasn't a good leader. Some have disagreed with me but I've said all year he hurts the team when on the court. He also had a comment after the season. I can find the quote. But it was something like... I was great this year, I'll be better next year... Selfish!

Chuck
Chuck

Not sold on Dragic. Can't explain why, I just never really buy into the Rockets' "good asset" guys. I also don't think a team can win a title if Dragic is the third best guy on the team, and if you're paying him 10 mil/year then he's gotta be that unless you get a Tim Duncan level guy on a rookie contract. He's definitely exciting, and he's shown he can step up in big games. But this was a really, really weird season where a lot of point guards (Deron Williams, Derrick Rose, Rubio, etc) were either injured or just off. Not sure I trust him after being really good for half of it.

J
J

I like GD3 that could be a great nickname Dragic but if we get Rondo or Curry in a draft day i wouldn't mind one of them either

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith

Since when did initials & a number become a legitimate nickname, give him a real nickname like the Slovenian Slasher or Goran "Golden Boy" Dragic

Bee dat
Bee dat

i like "scorin goran"

LaNative
LaNative

I like Dragic and wouldn't mind having him on the team. But in defense of Jack, I think he shot more because there were fewer people on the floor (due to injuries) that were capable of taking or knocking down the shots. JJ really stepped in and tried to put the Hornets on his back.

504ever
504ever

True. But Jack isn't a starting quality PG on a playoff team. We still need a better starting PG than what we have on the roster.

da ThRONe
da ThRONe

The biggest mistake non glamour teams make is thinking they can build a quality team via FA without building through the draft 1st. I really really like Dragic he's a quality player, but does paying him 8 figures a season for the next 4 season makes us title contenders? For me that answer is a huge no.

504ever
504ever

Right. And why would he sign with us over a better team? He wouldn't unless we overpay him, which I don't want to do!

OldRepublic
OldRepublic

I'd love Dragic, but if not, check out OJ Mayo--apparently he is trying to move to PG

Tyler
Tyler

It sucks that we could've had him in our 1st trade.

da ThRONe
da ThRONe

For one season than we would be in the same position as we are with Kaman. No thank you that first trade was awful.

George
George

I like but I think some team is going to overpay him his summer for what he did for a stretch of games when Lowry was out. But saying that he's definitely better than Jeremy Lin. I'd rather Lowry though.

dbeard06
dbeard06

I agree! I been on the Dragic bandwagon since the Lakers/Suns WC Finals in 2010. He would be the facilitator we are missing since CP3 exited.

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