Laker Nation: According to reports, the Lakers and Suns engaged in “fresh discussions” earlier in the day on Monday. Report says, there is ‘substantial’ interest on both sides to complete a deal but the Suns reportedly want to see how Gasol returns from his groin injury before going further in talks.
Also on Monday, Gasol posted a picture of him receiving a PRP injection for his injury on Instagram:
“Today I got a PRP shot to help the healing of my groin injury,” Gasol wrote on Instagram. “I will work hard to be back with the team as soon as possible.”
Feb 3rd, 1:50pm PST – Mike Bresnahan says the main reason a trade has not been agreed upon is because the Lakers want a better draft pick than the Suns current position:
Main reason Lakers + Suns haven't agreed on Gasol trade: Lakers want better draft pick than Suns' current position (17th overall).— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) February 3, 2014
Should be noted that if the current pick being offered is currently 17th overall, that would be the Washington Wizards pick the Suns own. The only other pick which is better than that particular one is the Minnesota T’Woves pick, which is top-12 protected. With the T’Wolves out of the playoff picture at the moment, that belongs to them, not the Suns.
Feb 2nd, 8:00pm PST – Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times reported late Sunday night that the Lakers are now engaged in trade discussions with the Phoenix Suns on a Pau Gasol trade.
According to Bresnahan, “Gasol would be comfortable with a trade to the Suns, eager to prove himself in a new system on a better team, according to a person familiar with his thinking.”
Feb 2nd, 3:00pm PST – According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Phoenix Suns have explored a potential deal for Lakers center Pau Gasol.
The Suns (29-18) have had a surprisingly good season after expectations of being lottery bound and are looking to add a piece to help solidify their position in the playoffs. With a young roster, Gasol would provide Phoenix with a veteran presence and championship experience.
But is a trade realistic between the two division rivals?
The Suns have the expiring contract of center Emeka Okafor to offer as well as some other assets including four first round draft picks in this June’s NBA draft. Okafor has not played a game this season due to a herniated disk in his neck and is out indefinitely.
Just two weeks ago, the Lakers were engaged in trade discussions with the Cleveland Cavaliers for former centerAndrew Bynum, but ultimately the Cavaliers did not want to part with any young players or first round draft picks the Lakers coveted in exchange for Gasol. That move would have brought the Lakers below the tax threshold, something they are still aiming at doing to avoid a hefty tax bill this season.
According to Stein, an Okafor/Gasol swap would bring the Lakers within $3 million of the tax threshold and another small deal at the deadline could be made to bring them completely under.
Currently, the Suns own four 2014 first draft picks from the following teams: Minnesota (top 13 protected), Washington (top 12 protected), Indiana (top 12 protected), and their own first rounder. At 16-31, the Lakers will almost certainly be in the lottery come the draft and another first round pick in a highly regarded draft could pay dividends for the Lakers in June.
Should the Lakers trade Pau Gasol to the Phoenix Suns for an expiring contract and draft pick or should they allow Gasol to play out the season in Los Angeles?