Goran Dragic arrives in Brooklyn, but won’t play vs. Celtics

Goran Dragic
Goran Dragic goes to the basket against Chicago Bulls in the first half at Scotiabank Arena.
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Goran Dragic won’t be in the Nets lineup on Thursday, but it won’t be long before he takes the court in a Brooklyn jersey.

Dragic appeared in his first practice with his new team on Wednesday at the Nets’ training complex in downtown Brooklyn. Nets head coach Steve Nash told reporters that the team’s newest addition still needs some practice time, but that it wouldn’t be too long before he appeared in a game.

Dragic has only appeared in five games this season, with all of those coming in October and November when he was with the Toronto Raptors. Things didn’t quite work out in Toronto this season because the Raptors said they were looking to get younger and didn’t see him as a fit on the roster, Dragic told Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News.

The veteran point guard officially signed with the Nets on Tuesday and joins a Brooklyn squad that is looking to turn things around out of the NBA All-Star break. Dragic choose the Nets after deciding between six contending teams that were vying for his services.

Dragic has a close connection with Nash from their time together in Phoenix and that helped sway him to Brooklyn.

Nets general manager Sean Marks credited Nash for convincing Dragic to come to Brooklyn during a season ticket holder event held at Barclays Center on  Tuesday night.

“I have to give full credit to Steve on this one,” Marks said. “Without a doubt, we were with Goran in Miami over the weekend. Spent some time with him and it was really intriguing to me to see the relationship that Goran and Steve have. The respect they have for one another. Really the respect that Goran had for Steve from many, many years ago. … The fact that he was his vet and rookie, that’s a unique relationship there. To watch those two tell stories together, it was certainly refreshing for me to sit back and almost a vision of things to come.

“Steve has another ally on the court there. We know what Goran can do. He’s tried, true and tested and a fierce competitor. In the meeting it was very clear why he wants to be here, that’s a championship.”

That certainly seemed to be the case on Wednesday when he addressed the New York media. Asked what the Nets needed to do to win an NBA championship Dragic responded, “no excuses. No excuses anymore.”