ESPN recently reported that the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers have mutual interest in a potential deal that would send Pau Gasol’s expiring contract to Phoenix. However, Gasol recently suffered a strained groin, and the Suns are currently holding off on further discussions until they see Gasol back in action.
The Lakers and Phoenix Suns engaged in a fresh round of trade discussions Monday focused on four-time All-Star center Pau Gasol as both sides continued to assess their options in advance of the Feb. 20 trade deadline, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
Sources told ESPN.com that, while there is substantive interest on both sides, it’s believed Suns officials want to see how Gasol recovers from a strained groin before deciding whether to take talks to the next level.
It’s understandable that the Suns are interested in Gasol — he has had a bounce-back season after a tough year, and put up a monster month in January, averaging 20.8 points and 11.9 rebounds. Phoenix is looking to bolster the roster before the trade deadline, in order to stay in the playoff race, and if Gasol can sustain a high level of play, he would obviously help the team a lot.
Another reason why Pau is a great option for the Suns is the fact that he is on an expiring contract, and the Suns would have a chance to see how he fits in the team without committing long-term money. At the same time, they would essentially be renting him for the season, and teams are usually reluctant to giving up too much for expiring deals. The potential framwork for a deal would include the expiring contract of Emeka Okafor and the Lakers would probably ask for a draft pick, or two, as well.