Two former Phoenix Suns guards announced their retirement from the NBA in the past week, leaving behind a lot of memorable moments in their careers and in Phoenix.
On Saturday, Goran Dragić, who played with the Suns from 2008-14, hung up his shoes by posting his retirement to Instagram.
Then, Ricky Rubio, who played for Phoenix in the 2019-20 season, was bought out yesterday by the Cleveland Cavaliers and in the coming hours announced his retirement due to mental health reasons.
— Ricky Rubio (@rickyrubio9) January 4, 2024
Both of these players came from overseas and had impactful tenures with the Suns.
The now 37-year-old Dragić was selected No. 45 overall by the San Antonio Spurs in 2008 and traded to the Suns on draft night.
He did not play much early on for Phoenix, but eventually helped the Suns reach the Western Conference Finals in 2010. However, Phoenix traded him to Houston at the 2011 trade deadline.
Dragić then decided to re-sign with the Suns in the 2012 offseason. His breakout season came in 2013-14, when he averaged a career-best 20.3 points to go along with 5.5 assists on over 50% shooting from the field. Dragić won some major accolades from his season performance, taking in the 2014 Most Improved Player award and making third-team All-NBA, his only All-NBA team of his career. The Suns won 48 games this year, but still ultimately missed the playoffs.
The next season in 2015, Phoenix once again traded Dragić at the deadline, this time the Heat with his brother Zoran. Dragić would go onto sign a massive 5-year, $90 million deal with Miami in the offseason. He stayed with the Heat until 2021 when he was traded to the Raptors. He then played for Brooklyn and Chicago as well before finishing his career with the Bucks last season.
In total, Dragić played 388 regular season contests with the Suns, starting 209 of them and averaging 12.3 points and 4.5 assists.
Goran Dragić dropped a career-high 40 PTS against the Pelicans! (2014)
Happy Retirement, Dragon! pic.twitter.com/79EvSUsPAD
— ThrowbackHoops (@ThrowbackHoops) December 30, 2023
BasketNews reports that Dragić is planning a farewell game that will feature former Suns’ legend Steve Nash.
Goran Dragic recently announced the star-studded line-up for his farewell event 👀 pic.twitter.com/UX4fzAlibH
— BasketNews (@BasketNews_com) January 5, 2024
Rubio started his career by playing seven seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves and two with the Utah Jazz before signing with Phoenix.
In July of 2019, the Suns finally got Devin Booker a true point guard by signing Rubio to a three-year, $51 million deal. The now 33-year-old Rubio was a huge part of shaping the Suns into one of the top teams into the league, even though they did not reach these heights in his lone season in the Valley.
The Suns finished 34-39 overall this season, but went an undefeated 8-0 in the NBA Bubble, setting up the future success of the team. Rubio played in all eight of these bubble games.
— NBA (@NBA) August 11, 2020
The Suns then included Rubio in the Chris Paul trade in 2020, as they realized the potential of having an elite point guard next to Booker. Rubio would go onto finish his career by playing one season in Minnesota and two with the Cavaliers.
In his one season in Phoenix, Rubio played and started in 65 of the Suns’ 73 games and nearly averaged a career-high with 13.0 points per game. For the season, he was fourth in the NBA in assists per game with 8.8 and shot a career-high 36% from deep.