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Goran Dragic on his way out of Phoenix

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Are the Pelicans set to prosper from the Suns predicament?

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns, sitting in the 8th and final spot in the Western Conference playoff seedings, appear set to lose their best player from last season, Goran Dragic. After signing Isaiah Thomas this past off-season, Dragic has been forced to share the ball much more than he's wanted to in a loaded backcourt, and now he claims he has had enough.

Despite the Suns claiming they would move Thomas in an effort to appease Dragic, he doesn't have any interest in remaining a Sun. Guess his heart isn't in Phoenix anymore? (Yep, just had to go there.)

From the Suns vantage point, the timing couldn't be any worse. With this announcement out of Dragic's camp, the Suns no longer have nearly as much leverage in negotiations. There remain less than 48 hours before the deadline, and if Phoenix wants to salvage any return for a very valuable commodity, they need to move him now. Prospective teams, especially the big markets, know if the asking price is too high, they could threaten to wait for the summer to sign him and not give up any assets now.

As for the Pelicans and the Thunder, this turn of events has the real potential of turning an apparent 3-team race for the 8th seed to just 2 teams after play resumes following the All-Star break. At a time when teams gear up for the final stretch, the Suns will likely enter the battlefield without one of their most important pieces.

Stay tuned for further details.