By Bill Carey
June 21, 2012

If the Phoenix Suns lose Steve Nash in free agency, they could look to sign Goran Dragic away from Houston. (Christian Peterson/Getty Images)

Two-time MVP Steve Nash, a free agent this summer, has been linked to the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls and other NBA teams. If Nash does leave the Phoenix Suns after eight seasons, the team has his replacement in mind, reports The Sporting News' Sean Deveney.

Goran Dragic backed up Nash for nearly three seasons. After excelling in a short stretch as a starter for the Houston Rockets this season, Dragic would be at the top of Phoenix's wish list should Nash leave, a source told Deveney.

Dragic's career numbers are nothing spectacular: He has averaged 8 points and 3.3 assists per game in his career. But in 28 starts with Houston, those numbers jumped to 18 points and 8.4 assists. Deveney notes the uncertainty of how teams will approach Dragic. Will he be paid for his overall body of work or for his success in the short term?

Although Dragic said he wants to return to Houston, he also said he hopes to be a starter. With the Rockets, who have point guard Kyle Lowry, starting would likely be out of the question.

“Definitely, I want to be a starter in the NBA,” Dragic said. “I think I showed I can do it. I am really happy I got the opportunity to show what I can do and that I belong here. Still, you know, hopefully next year I am going to run the team. I know I can be a first point guard – it is something I can do." “...I learned a lot in Phoenix, I had a very good time there,” he said. “I don’t know what is going to happen, but that is an organization I know, obviously, and they helped me a lot.”

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