Originally Published: February 20, 2015 6:01 a.m.
PHOENIX - The Phoenix Suns' three point-guard experiment is over.
The Suns pulled off three trades on Thursday, Feb. 18, sending Goran Dragic to the Miami Heat and Isaiah Thomas to the Boston Celtics.
That left Eric Bledsoe as the lone member of the point guard trio remaining with Phoenix.
In the third trade, the Suns sent a third point guard, rookie Tyler Ennis, who rarely plays, to the Milwaukee Bucks, along with forward-center Miles Plumlee.
That trade brought the most significant acquisition, guard Brandon Knight from the Bucks.
Dragic's brother, Zoran, also went to the Heat.
Knight is a Milwaukee Bucks starter who plays the point but probably will start alongside Bledsoe. Knight was the Bucks' leading scorer this season at 17.8 points per game. He is a restricted free agent, meaning the Suns can match any offer he gets after the season ends.
Phoenix acquired Marcus Thornton as part on the Thomas trade.
The Suns get three draft picks in the deals. They have Cleveland's first-round pick, top-10 protected, next year as part of the Thomas trade with Boston. They received two first-round picks from Miami. The first is top-seven protected in 2017 and 2018 and unprotected in 2019. The second is unprotected in 2021.
As part of the three-team deal that brought the Suns Knight, Phoenix gave Philadelphia the first-round pick it had acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers, which is top-five protected next year.
The Suns' team buses were ready to head to the airport from US Airways Center for a flight to Minneapolis when news of the trades broke. The five players got off, hugged teammates and were escorted by coach Jeff Hornacek back into the building.
The upheaval comes with Phoenix still in the thick of the playoff race, a half-game ahead of Oklahoma City for the eighth and final playoff spot in the tough Western Conference.
The Suns were in an awkward position with Dragic after he told them he wanted to be traded and would not re-sign with them when he becomes a free agent at the end of this season.
"I don't trust them anymore," he told reporters Wednesday.
He mostly was dissatisfied with his role. With Bledsoe and Thomas dominating the ball, Dragic found himself on the wing or, as he put it, "standing in the corner."
"That's not me," he said.
He said he wants to return to the point guard position that he's played throughout his basketball career.
The 28-year-old Slovenian, in the third season of his second stint in Phoenix, was arguably the Suns' most popular player with the fans, with a polite, friendly personality that made his Wednesday remarks so critical of the front office startling.
Dragic was averaging 16.2 points and 4.1 assists, down significantly from his averages of 20.3 and 5.9 last season, when he was named third-team all-NBA.
Dragic said he didn't want to stay even if Thomas was traded. That meant the Suns would have to trade Dragic by Thursday or see him walk with no compensation when the season was over.
Thomas' time in Phoenix was short-lived. He signed a four-year, $27 million contract and was Phoenix's major offseason acquisition by general manager Ryan McDonough.
After Bledsoe signed as a restricted free agent the Suns found themselves with three point guards who all wanted the ball in their hands.
Thomas averaged 15.2 points and 3.7 assists with the Suns.
Plumlee was effective last season in his first extensive NBA playing time, but he had been replaced at starting center by the ever-improving Alex Len.
To make the deals work financially, the Suns acquired John Salmons and Danny Granger in the Miami trade and Kendall Marshall in the Milwaukee-Philadelphia deal. They are expected to waive Salmons and Marshall and reportedly were still deciding whether to waive Granger.