Suns interested in Pau Gasol trade, per report

Posted by on February 2nd, 4:53 pm

Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough hasn’t been shy about how he’ll be looking to improve the roster this season, but it was a matter of who was on the trade market. One of the most obvious players on said market seems to be of interest.

ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that the Suns are exploring a trade for Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol.

How does that sound?

More specifically, how does it sounds if the Suns don’t have to give up all that much?

The Lakers were discussing a move with the Cleveland Cavaliers in December that included a swap of Gasol and former Cavs center Andrew Bynum, but Los Angeles was too stingy to allow Gasol to walk for nothing. Of course, the Lakers want to rid themselves of Gasol’s $19.3 million salary, and trading for Emeka Okafor’s $14.5 million expiring contract would do some damage in getting them closer to the luxury tax threshold.

In fact, by lowering their cap number by the $4.8 million difference between Gasol and Okafor’s salaries, the Lakers would actually be saving about $7.8 million when considering luxury tax payments, and that’s not to mention the 80 percent of Okafor’s contract that will be paid by insurance.  Per ShamSports’ salary numbers, that would put the Lakers within about $2.5 million of the luxury tax line. Going below that threshold with an additional move or two would be a huge boon for the Lakers considering the looming repeater tax and the fact that Los Angeles has paid the tax the last two years. Such a deal would eliminate the majority of Phoenix’s remaining 2013-14 cap space.

However, in discussing their options with the Cavs, the Lakers also wanted assets in return.

As you probably know, Phoenix has those available. The Suns have up to four first-round draft picks in 2014. On top of Phoenix’s own, it has a top-12 protected pick from Washington, a top-13 protected pick from Minnesota and a top-14 protected pick from Indiana. That’s not to mention a 2015 pick from Los Angeles that came about from the Steve Nash trade.

Whether it’s picks or a young player or two, Phoenix could find itself with a All-Star caliber player who this season is playing well despite openly criticizing his role within Mike D’Antoni’s offense.

Gasol is averaging 17 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.5 blocks per game, and he’s still as dynamic of a big man in the game.

And no, this wouldn’t be viewed as the much-complained about upgrade at the power forward spot. Without getting into any players that could potentially go to Los Angeles in a trade along with Okafor’s contract — the majority of Phoenix’s young roster could be involved — the guess here is that the Suns would play Gasol at center.

The Suns want to keep their spacing with Channing Frye or the Morris twins.

Gasol would provide another dimension within an offense that to this point doesn’t have much of an inside-out option. While Phoenix has gone to Miles Plumlee at times to open up the perimeter, Markieff Morris might be their only legitimate low-post threat.

Bringing in Gasol would allow Phoenix to space the floor and create off double-teams.

When Gasol’s contract expires after this season, the Suns would be able to re-sign him while retaining his Bird Rights in such a deal, giving them the option to offer him a lucrative deal if he fits well with a few months in Jeff Hornacek’s system.

Of course, Stein’s report uses the word “exploration” because the Suns potentially see issues with signing a 33-year-old whose been hit by the injury bug in the last two years.

If the Suns don’t have to give up much other than a contract, a draft pick and even a player or two, they might have to ask themselves, ‘Why not?’

Should McDonough and company decide to pull the trigger, it could come down to Los Angeles getting enough in return. So if they’re not looking for a blockbuster deal that nets them an All-Star caliber player in return for Gasol, the Suns could be in a position to make a major move.

Kevin Zimmerman is the lead blogger and editor for Valley of the Suns. He is also editor of AZDesertSwarm.com, an Arizona Wildcats\’ blog, and a contributor at SB Nation and Pac-12.com.

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Tags: Trades

82 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Matt // Feb 2, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Kevin, do you have thoughts about how well Gasol would fit in to the Suns’ system? Also, how would this affect the playing time of Plumlee, Frye, Markieff, and Len?

    I like the trade from some angles, but I’m just worried about it messing up the Suns’ chemistry and the development of some of the younger players. I would feel much better about it if Gasol was, say, 30 years old instead of 33 going on 34.

  • 2 Azman2003 // Feb 2, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Gasol is old and is breaking down as we speak. He would have been a nice peice 5 years ago…not now.

    Unless they are willing to take Okafor and their own pick back, I say pass on this deal.

    Those picks are valuable, and giving one (or more) away seems silly to me.

    Go after Love, or package them to move up in this draft….but don’t hand them to the Lakers for a washed up big man that will take time away from Plumlee and Len.

  • 3 Kevin Zimmerman // Feb 2, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    @Matt: To me it sort of depends on what they give up. If they get Gasol for Okafor, draft pick or two and even a bench player not including either of the rookies, I think it’d be a risk-free situation.

    Frye and Gasol I think would actually fit really well with one another … In general, I think all those guys are interchangeable alongside Gasol. Obviously you’d have an overloaded frontcourt, so Len or Plumlee would take a hit in minutes for this year if they aren’t included in a deal.

    Too many IFs involved at this point, but I think you can make it work. Worst case, it doesn’t and you move into next season with maybe a lost draft pick ….I’m sure a discussion before any trade talks with LA happen involves what they can give up and risk vs. reward.

  • 4 Go Phx // Feb 2, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    I’d absolutely do the deal for Gasol and a 2nd rounder or low first, like the Indy pick. Len is completely untouchable and Plum should be pretty dang close. Other players like Goodwin should not be included either. But for Okafor and a meh pick, why the hell not? Give it a try. If it doesn’t work out, then you don’t have to retain him in the offseason.

  • 5 Joseph d // Feb 2, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Nononononono don’t want gasol

  • 6 Melon Man // Feb 2, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    We take gasol and picks and ______ and they take bledsoe and okafor?

    I really don’t think we need bledsoe and something tells me he’s not worth holding onto.

  • 7 Ellensburgbballfan // Feb 2, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Len, Goodwin, and Dragic and Plumlee should be untouchable

    I would be open to trading Bledsoe if we got something back

    if we want him back its gonna take a max deal

    I wouldnt mind sending one of our excess front court guys though not named Len or Plumlee

    I still dont understand why the Suns brass is looking at trading players to win now, when everyone thats a long time Suns fan knows you dont get anywhere as a middling playoff team

    in fact, you usually make the team worse off for the future when you do that

    Its gonna take more than Gasol from the Lakers to take us to the finals, especially not when hes in his 14th season or something like that

    this move would be 2 steps forward and one step back, kinda like this whole season

    you win and you make the playoffs and get into a deep run, or you blow it up and start over with cap space, young talent and draft picks

    going in between that means your team will be consistently competitive, but also very frustrating

    However, a trade of Frye, Okafor, and Kravtsov for Gasol and a future pick would be maybe ok

    But we need to focus on a few seasons from now, not this season, which will most likely end in a 1st or 2nd round loss in the brutal west

    This isnt the east where you can just throw a team together randomly like Charlotte and make the playoffs

  • 8 EBJM // Feb 2, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    McD already indirectly gave them Marshall for free and there obviously isn’t a market for Pau, so I’d say give them Okafor period. Jerry Buss went to great lengths to make the Lakers financially before his death so why help them with their tax bill?

    Especially after they came out and said they were going to make the Suns come big for Bledsoe or lose him? Pau does bring his ability to score in the post something Miles is not going to do anytime soon and of course Len is a couple of years away.

    BUT the Morri, especially Markieff has stepped up his game recently. Pau at this stage of his career just isn’t worth much, especially if it means helping the Lakers at all.

    Kupchak is the former student of Jerry West who back around 1995 sent the Suns his 1st rd pick (Suns drafted Michael Finley) for Suns favorite Cedric Ceballos. Ceballos became an All-Star with the Lakers.

    Though Marshall sucks he is averaging a double-double and averages as many dimes as any player not named Chris Paul while shooting 46% from beyond the arc.

    Just saying……..it took Abdul-Jabbar 14 years to retire and Kobe is on year 18. Unless you think Pau can get us that elusive first title, you don’t want to help the Lakers at all.

  • 9 EBJM // Feb 2, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    I just read the most interesting part of a potential trade with the Lakers. It is all about getting under the tax threshold for the Lakers. The Suns are $5.6 million under the cap, Okafor’s contract is worth $14.5 million and Pau makes $19.3 million.

    That means it could be a straight swap so the Lakers would drop away from the tax threshold. They don’t want any players from the Suns. They will probably try and pry their own pick from ’15 and one from this year away from McD.

    Hold fast McD and don’t give them any picks, they are doing a salary dump. We all know you are an expert in those!

  • 10 Nick // Feb 2, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Wouldn’t mind sending Okafor and either the Wash or Indy pick for Gasol. No more though.

    The Good: Gasol would give us a proven go to scorer down the stretch, would excel in the two man game with Dragic and bring some needed playoff experience. Makes us stupidly deep.

    The Bad: Gasol is used to being a ‘go to’ guy. Not sure if he can adapt to the team first mentality the Suns have cultivated. His arrival likely means Frye, the Morrii, and Plumlee’s minutes will suffer.

    All in all, low risk, high reward. I like the Idea as long as we don’t give up more than a first and Okafor.

  • 11 Al // Feb 2, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Paul would be an okay trade. He would be taking away all the minutes from Len. Okafor and 1 or 2 2nd rounders should be enough for Pau. It’s a take it or leave it for Lakers. LA tried to pull a fast one with CLE when they wanted to trade for Bynum and another player for Pau. They need to get something for Pau before he goes back to Memphis next season. Another great trade would be between LA-Min-Phoenix:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=p7jnzsk

    Phoenix gets Love, LA get Okafor and pick. Min gets to pair Pau with Rubio and acquires a couple of first round picks…Everybody wins.

  • 12 vtsunrise // Feb 2, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Getting Pao Gasol for peanuts is as likely as Bob Dylan turning into a car salesman.

    Wait…

    Well, regardless, I don’t either prospect.

  • 13 vtsunrise // Feb 2, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    er, I don’t LIKE either prospect.

  • 14 Chris // Feb 2, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    This will make an immediate impact but it doesn’t make sense long term like the suns seem to be working towards. This only makes sense if they plan on making another big splash. Pau is only going to last for a few years IF he sticks around after this year. This move alone will not make the suns a championship contender this year.

  • 15 KDW // Feb 2, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Okafor for Gasol is not bad. But let’s swing for the fences here.

    If we can’t package Okafor (or possibly Gasol) for Love, how about for Melo?

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=lne54bu

  • 16 tthecat // Feb 2, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    I am not enthusiastic about this, because of the impact on the minutes of our young, developing frontcourt players – i.e., just about everyone. On the other hand, it’s not a horrible deal and would help us with our playoff push this year. I don’t like the idea of resigning him to big $ after the season, but I doubt that would be McD’s plan.

  • 17 HunterSThompson // Feb 2, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Sorry Kevin,
    I appreciate your insight and writing, but you assessment of this trade possibility is way off. Not only do you see the Suns playing Gasol at CENTER… But you think the Suns would give up PICKS to get him???? What Suns team are you watching????

    Suns have not one, but two decent center prospects playing well in a more traditional lineup…and if they go small Channing Frye fills that role admirably. They are NOT winning any championship this year, so why would they mortgage the future on an aging finesse forward that disrupts the “no one believes in us” chemistry and learning-on-the-job experience this season has always been about?

    Exactly what does Gasol bring to this team that makes them a playoff contender over and above what/how they play now? His fast break speed? His dominant offensive rebounding? His stellar isolation offense? His powerful shut-down defense? His youthful energy and enthusiasm?

    Give me a break.

    I’m betting Gasol is never a Sun. Only chance is if he is swapped straight up for OKafors contract…and even then I find it very hard to believe that is the best McD can do with that asset. Gasol just does not fit this team….now or for the future.

    I may be way off, but ther is just no way I see McD making this trade.

  • 18 SJose // Feb 2, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    McD don’t include a pick for Gasol. He’s not the type of star that we need, and that pick could help us with a better trade at another point. If for Okafor straight up that’s ok, but that’s it.

  • 19 the real al // Feb 2, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    The Pau trade is not going to happen people. McD has stressed oved and over again that they want someone 25 years or younger with star potential, or is already a star, who can help them now and into the future.

    Not unless a scenario like @Al suggested takes place where the suns get a young stud/star.

    Relax peeps, theyre not going to pull the trigger on this trade, pau is old and damaged goods…

  • 20 KDW // Feb 2, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    So one thing to keep in mind, right now Pau is considered old and over the hill. BUT the Suns have the best training staff in the game. So maybe he actually has a few more good years in him.

    If Aaron Nelson and his team of wizards can roll back the clock, and we end up with Pau 2010 — I’d take that. I’d totally take that.

  • 21 Kevin Zimmerman // Feb 2, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    @EBJM: The Lakers want more than a straight swap for Gasol. Otherwise, they would have gotten a bigger savings from trading Gasol to the Cavs for Bynum straight up.

    @HunterS: I’m not in the front office and I have no basis of what they’re saying, just assertions based on what Hornacek and McDonough have said publicly. If you think Gasol isn’t an upgrade over Plumlee and Len, then I can only say that a vast majority of basketball front office people would strongly disagree. So of course they would at least consider dealing a draft pick or more. Picks = risk in themselves after all, and if they don’t have to give up either Plumlee or Len to get it done, why worry? Gasol will be gone in a year if it’s not worth it.

    Either way, the story is the front office is mulling the option, not that it’s anywhere close to done. If the Lakers aren’t asking for too much, it’s worth the risk.

  • 22 Dave:f32 // Feb 2, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    The Suns are picking up another team’s unwanted washed up garbage. Im not surprised as this season has gone relatively smooth. It was just a matter of time the FO was gonna dork it up. Gasol doesnt even fit into DAntoni’s system how can he expect to thrive in the Suns? With players he is far less familiar with in a team culture that differs from his current team !!

  • 23 EBJM // Feb 2, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Well I’m not arguing with anybody but only coming to the defense of our knowledgeable host Kevin Zimmerman. ESPN’s Marc Stein is the one who broke with the original story.

    Facts: McD has openly said the Suns are shopping Okafor’s contract for a star player that could help the Suns this year without crippling the Suns salary cap this summer.

    Facts: Lakers are trying to get under the tax threshold this season. They got too greedy with Cleveland and they went to Chicago and acquired Luol Deng instead.

    Despite his well documented issues with D’Antoni, Pau has averaged 21/12/3 during the month of January. Regardless of anyone’s personal opinion of Pau he is still one of the league’s best post players this season.

    He fills a huge void for Phoenix. He can score inside without any problem. Alex Len could really benefit from practicing with him.

    I could see McD giving up two picks for him. Suns can simply let him walk this summer if they don’t like what they see.

    This would give Phoenix the deepest front-court out West and being close to the size of the Pacer’s. While Pau isn’t exactly a greyhound, he has played in D’Antoni’s SSOL for half a season, so he can play fast in Hornacek’s style while giving Hornacek a low-post option when the threes aren’t there.

    It could be a possibility.

  • 24 Dave Dub // Feb 2, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    The Suns are picking up another team’s unwanted washed up garbage. Im not surprised as this season has gone relatively smooth. It was just a matter of time the FO was gonna dork it up. Gasol doesnt even fit into DAntoni’s system how can he expect to thrive in the Suns? With players he is far less familiar with in a team culture that differs from his current team !!

  • 25 Dave Dub // Feb 2, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    The Suns are picking up another team’s unwanted washed up garbage.

  • 26 Dave:f32 // Feb 2, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    I compare this awful trade to the one that brought Shaq here, when they traded Shawn Marion. It made no sense then, and it makes no sense now. You cant fix age and inability

  • 27 foreveris2long // Feb 2, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Interesting issue. First and foremost I am not making this deal for a past his prime big with injury issues unless I am convinced Bledsoe is coming back this season. No Bledsoe, with or without Pau the Suns will not win the West. I am not making this deal unless it gives us a good chance of winning the West.

    If Bledsoe is coming back maybe I do the deal but only for Okufur’s contract and maybe a draft pick. I am not trading any of our rookies or role players. Gasol has a nice low post offensive game and is a good rebounder. He is better at those two things than anyone on the current roster. However Plumlee is a better defender in the low post. Again if it is not going to help us win a championship, which I have a lot of questions about, I am not renting Gasol for a valuable 1st round pick. I guess I am not obsessed with advancing far in the playoffs this year.

  • 28 GoSuns // Feb 2, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    This Gasol trade interests me, i’m not sure it’s worth the risk but if Hornaceck thinks he can make it work hopefully we dont give up too much

  • 29 Voqar // Feb 2, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Seems like a dumb move. Gasol already whined about run & gun with d’antoni. Suns play similarly. Frye stretches the defense and opens up the lane for dragic. Gasol would clog the lane and moves at glacial speed no matter what he’s doing.

    This would make zero sense.

    I guess it would be better to have a player than an expiring contract when either would be gone next year, but really, this is doing the lakers more of a favor by making them even worse and moving to a better draft pick while not helping the suns. If we were to give anything more than okafail’s contract that’d be even dumber.

    I’m kind of disturbed to even see this as a rumor, actually, since it just seems like the kind of dumb move a bad FO would make.

  • 30 EBJM // Feb 2, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Kevin, the fact that they got greedy with Cleveland is the reason I believe McD could get away with only draft picks. Trading for Bynum would have given them a bigger savings thus allowing them to try and take one of their young players on a rookie contract.

    But since Cleveland said no thanks, they are scrambling to find a taker for Pau’s contract. The savings are less with taking Okafur’s contract but still very attractive because of the insurance coverage.

    Laker’s are not in the drivers seat as everyone knows they want to move Pau’s contract by the 20th.

    VT, why couldn’t the Suns acquire Pau for peanuts? Isn’t that what everybody thought when the Lakers acquired him from Memphis?

    I’m sure the Lakers would accommodate the Suns by “playing it forward!” LOL

  • 31 EBJM // Feb 2, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Forever, hasn’t Gerald Green’s emergence as a star convinced you that the Suns are a “Pau” away from contending? (rhetorical question)

  • 32 HunterSThompson // Feb 2, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Alright then – let’s look at the “facts”.

    Gasol 2013-14 (per 36 minutes): 11.5 total rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 19.2 pts, 3.8 assists.

    Plumlee 2013-14 (per 36 minutes): 11.3 total rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 12.5 pts, 0.6 assists.

    Gasol 2013-14 (advanced): win share per 48 minutes: .082

    Plumleee 2013-14 (advanced): win share per 48 minutes: .102

    “Oh – but the Lakers suck this year and Pau has no-one around him to help”.

    2012-13 Lakers finished with a 45-37 record. Almost EXACTLY where the Suns project to finish this season.

    Gasol 2012-13 (per 36 minutes): 9.2 total rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 14.6 pts, 4.4 assists.

    Gasol 2012-13 (advanced): win share per 48: .107

    Take a look at Plumlee’s stats from THIS season vs Pau’s from LAST season, since both guys are/were playing on “similar” teams. Aside from assists, is Pau REALLY an upgrade at the PF or center position…or is he simply a “better” name?

    Oh…I guess for fun I should include Alex Len.

    2013-14 (per 36): 11.2 total rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 9.3 pts, 0.2 assists. (Advanced): .085 win share.

    Sorry Kevin. Not buying the generalities you are defending, especially when we factor in the very real chemistry and development factors that the Suns are obviously placing importance on for this season.

    There is zero risk in holding on to picks (and Okafor’s contract) for a potential opportunity to move up in the draft or trade for/draft a younger guy that may actually be around when the Suns can truly compete. There IS risk in snubbing Plumlee and sitting Len for a guy that stats show does not much better than either of them.

    I would rather the Suns be first-round cannon fodder in a playoff sweep series loss if Plumlee and Len got meaningful minutes and experience on the floor with the teammates they battled all season with to this point…rather than have them sitting behind grandpa Pau as he tries to prove his worth for another contract some other team is going to give him. What message does that send to those young guys…and what might that risk be down the road?

  • 33 Dan Smith // Feb 2, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    I agree with what Voqar said…We’re going to give up a first rounder and one of the younger, talented guys on the team for a 30 game rent-a-player scenario? Especially when’s there’s risk it could mess the team up. There’s no way the team would want to or should want to sign him beyond this season anyway, he’s 34 in July…he’s only got another 2-3 years left, and he’s getting banged up alot lately as it is. This rumor just seems like something last years Suns would try. Scola and Gortat didn’t work here, Gasol won’t either.

  • 34 HunterSThompson // Feb 2, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    2014 Pau Gasol as a Sun = 2008 Shaq as a Sun.

    Fly in the ointment. Square peg, round hole.

    No way McD does this unless the Lakers give up Pau for Okafor straight up. Even then I highly doubt it.

  • 35 Al // Feb 2, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    It’s funny how McD specifies he is willing to trade for a Star of 25 YEARS or less. There are not that many that may be in the trade block. ;) I agree that Pau is not the answer. Phoenix would be doing LA a favor by doing a trade with them. Let LA pay the luxury tax for a mediocre team. They and their fan base can afford it. Even if LA chooses to offer Bledsoe the max, Phoenix can just match it and keep him. Then, Phoenix can just flip Bledsoe when he starts playing well again and add more pieces to build around Dragic and the other Star 25 YEAR OLD…PF?

  • 36 Kevin Zimmerman // Feb 2, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    @HunterS: You’re right. I’m not saying there’s not a huge risk in giving up more than a draft pick and Okafor in exchange for Gasol. Plumlee and Len are both certainly valid as keepers, but it’s not outlandish to say that if they kept both of them AND got Gasol, this team might not be better. I think that’s where I would draw a line in the sand and guess at what the Suns’ front office might be thinking about.

    I too am skeptical about how Gasol would fit into a roster that’s performing so well. But similar example of why Suns might pull the trigger: Why did Indiana bring in Andrew Bynum to a team that has one of the best records in the league? He brings something extra.

    That’s tempting enough.

  • 37 Roger // Feb 2, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Trade based on Financials: Lakers are in a salary dump mode, don’t believe otherwise. McD should stand his ground for the trade, max Indy pick with Okafor for Pau. Actually, Pau will cost more for the remainder of this season.

    Trade based on Basketball: Makes sense. Pau brings top of the key plays missing from both Plumlee and Len or anybody else on the team. Pick n Pop, Pick n Roll have been very inconsistent this season, Pau’s experience and feel for the game can be a big help here. There is no doubt, he’ll also bring inside out play for Dragic, Fry and other 3-point shooters. What’s more. Rebounding, good for 8-9 every night even if he plays only 25-28 min per game. What’s not to like about this trade when you’re jockeying for last 3-4 spots for the playoffs. With Pau, most other playoff teams in Western Conf will fear. Finally, someone said, he can be a great mentor to Plumlee and Len.

    Summary: McD should do this trade with max Indy pick, no more. Lakers are desperate to dump salary.

  • 38 Roger // Feb 2, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    @Kevin Zimmerman

    Indy signed Bynum to keep him away from other NBA contenders.

  • 39 SJose // Feb 2, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Kevin,

    Giving up draft picks for a guy past his prime is NOT worth the risk. Is Gasol going to make us better than the Thunder? No. So why give up a pick in a loaded draft? You’re too quick to give up draft picks for my liking.

    Like a corporation, the Suns should exercise due care in evaluating this option, but they should not throw in a pick (or worse TWO picks as you seem to be fine with) for a half a season of an aging center who’s not going to take us to the promised anyways.

  • 40 EBJM // Feb 2, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Roger I disagree. Bird won a title the season the Celtics signed the oft-injured Bill Walton to back Robert Parish. Bird is old school and that front-court of himself, McHale, Parish and Walton is still recognized as the best.

    Anything happens to Hibbert, foul trouble or injury, Bynum can step in and the Pacers continue to play their style of ball. Mahinmi is more of a Suns or Heat type of center. Phenomenal athlete with limited skills.

    Spurs and Mavericks let him go for a reason.

    The Heat had an opportunity to sign Bynum first but they were only offering the veteran’s minimum despite having their $3.2 million mid-level exception. They were also over the tax threshold and didn’t have a roster spot.

    They would have had to waive Douglas or Mason and eat their salary. He wouldn’t have played much unless the Heat faced the Pacers in the playoffs because he doesn’t fit their style.

    So Bynum said no thanks and then Bird got him to sign with him for the veteran’s minimum. Bynum had zero interest in any other teams, so Bird didn’t need to spend a millions dollars to keep him away from anybody. Bynum wanted to play for a serious contender or he simply wasn’t going to play.

    Last thought on Pau. Chemistry issues with Pau? Come-on now, Pau is the ultimate team player when playing for a real coach. He fit right in with Kobe, Bynum, & Odom without a hitch and won a couple of rings for his troubles.

    He made every attempt to fit in with Howard but he isn’t as skilled as Bynum and it just didn’t work out.

    The only stats anyone needs to be concerned with is what Pau put up in January; 21/12/3. Everyone knows D’Antoni’s disdain for skilled ‘Bigs”. When D’Antoni finally got tired of losing he started using Pau in the manner any normal coach would.

    There is no doubt Pau would be the ultimate professional and relish the opportunity to jump aboard the Suns train and showcase himself to the other teams because he is in a contract year.

    Again, Alex Len would benefit greatly from practicing with Pau as he is one of the most skilled 7′-1″ players to have played in the NBA and Len is going to be the next.

    Mark West and Kenny Gattison are fine coaches but Miles plays just like West. Why are teams sending their young centers to see Hakeem Olajuwon?

    Alex Len will be much more like Pau then Olajuwon or West.

  • 41 steve // Feb 2, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    I dunno why’d they think about Gasol when Greg Monroe is in his last year in Detroit. Offer Detroit a sign and trade around Okafors contract with a pick or 2. He would be a better pick up than Gasol.

  • 42 the real al // Feb 2, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    So heres the tweet from Gambo, who we all know, has reliable scoop inside the suns FO (probably due to the fact that he’s buddies with sarver). Regardless, his word is legit 99.99999999% of the time

    *****************

    Ok now to the Gasol rumors. The Suns want to trade the Okafor contract, Gasol is one of about 10 options they are considering but he is hurt

    — John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) February 3, 2014

    The Suns would not give up a first round pick for Gasol only Okafor because it adds 8 mill in payroll and subtracts 13 off LAs books.

    — John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) February 3, 2014

    The chances of trading for Gasol are slim but there is a chance, feeling being he can help them in playoffs when game becomes half court

    — John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) February 3, 2014

    *****************

    Gambo points out a few things – suns ARE NOT going to trade away any first round picks to a rival that will benefit from it and its a slim chance they get a deal done…… I stand by my last words, and that is this trade is NOT going to happen.

  • 43 EBJM // Feb 2, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Steve, Piston’s owner Tom Gores has instituted a “do nothing” policy because Joe Dumars is in the final year of his contract. They do not want to give away Monroe and compound Dumars mistakes even more.

    The word in Detroit is they are going to stand pat until the end of the season and reevaluate Dumars and his staff before making any significant deals.

    Well Sean McDonough told Jalen Rose who told Charles Barkley who then told Marc Stein that his brother Ryan that was exploring a possible trade with the Lakers for Pau Gasol.

    I stand by all of my words including that a trade for Pau is a “possibility”.

  • 44 EBJM // Feb 3, 2014 at 12:03 am

    Lets connect the dots; ESPN Marc Stein was the first to report the story. ESPN Sean McDounough is Ryan’s brother.

    Robert Sarver has stepped back and allowed Babby and McDonough to do their jobs without interference.

    Gambardo is Sarver’s buddy?

    Hmmmmm………..

  • 45 Luka // Feb 3, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Dont bother with Gasol. The Suns would be better served moving Okafor, the Morris twins, and a draft pick to Philadelphia for Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner, and Lavoy Allen.

  • 46 vtsunrise // Feb 3, 2014 at 3:21 am

    The biggest reason I don’t see this happening is chemistry. The Suns have it in spades now. Bringing in a major player, and a likely rental at that, risks destroying the chemistry that has made the Suns a cinder-fella story this season.

    On another note, I loved seeing the NBA.com Sunday Feast as a droolathon over the Suns and particularly Goran Dragic. They/he are earning respect big time. A beautiful thing.

  • 47 LakerNation // Feb 3, 2014 at 3:52 am

    LOL we’ll get some picks from you and then take Bledsoe from you lol.

    SONS always the Lakers btch.

    #0for45

    #LakerNation

    #ThanksForKendall

    #KendallMarshallForMIP

  • 48 Nate55555 // Feb 3, 2014 at 4:29 am

    What about bringing Nash back as well? Just Saying….

  • 49 the real al // Feb 3, 2014 at 4:32 am

    @ebjm

    Regardless if gambo is sarvers buddy or not, that wasnt my point. My point is that his sources come directly from the Suns themselves and are pretty reliable/legit. Read between the lines bro.

    This whole thing about connecting the dots has no basis. Bring the proof that this whole Pau thing started that way. If you cant, then stop assuming.

  • 50 Dan Smith // Feb 3, 2014 at 4:48 am

    Lol @LakerNation
    Thanks for taking crappy Nash and saving us 10 mil a year

  • 51 Dan Smith // Feb 3, 2014 at 4:50 am

    People here have to be delusional to want Nash back..he’ll be lucky to even suit up again lol

  • 52 VeE // Feb 3, 2014 at 4:57 am

    Don’t give up the 2015 Lakers Pick

  • 53 the Gorilla // Feb 3, 2014 at 5:57 am

    Trading a first round draft pick(s) for a 33 year old center when the team is not in contention is inexcusable! l do not like the idea of helping the Lakers financially, when they’re set to make a move at Bledsoe this offseason.

    Though, aginst my better judgment, l would consider Okafor for Gasol straight up. lt would be exciting to see Gasol in a suns uniform, even though, he might only have one good season left after this year.

    l lean toward on keeping our four draft picks & possibly our chemistry.

  • 54 Serek // Feb 3, 2014 at 7:20 am

    Trading for stars not older than 25? How many are there? And how many of them are possibly for the taking?

    Unless it’s a young stud who can run, rebound and shoot threes AND would extend with the Suns, I would not break up the chemistry and mess up rotations. There is only one guy I can think of, and I am not 100% sure on the running part.

  • 55 SarverHater22 // Feb 3, 2014 at 7:56 am

    Yes !Yes ! Yes ! To Gasol .
    D’Antoni didnt want Gasol in Phx when he had the chance to get Pau, both Antoni (no d) and Kerr horribly traded Matrix for a washed-up ball-hogging Shaq , if Suns were ever to trade Matrix , it shoudve been for Gasol in o8

  • 56 EBJM // Feb 3, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Five hours after Marc Stein reported that the Suns were “exploring” the possibility of trading for Pau Gasol, Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times reportedthat 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.”

    Did Pau just say that the Suns were a better team than the Lakers? Bresnahan also reports that the Lakers are still aiming to get below the tax threshold to avoid a hefty tax bill this season.

    McD should be able to simply swap Okafor for Pau, Lakers want to save cash and there aren’t any other teams willing to help them out other than Phoenix.

  • 57 EBJM // Feb 3, 2014 at 8:21 am

    The real Al it was just a tongue in cheek joke. Relax and take a deep breath. Nobody here knows what is going to happen until it does or does not happen.

  • 58 vtsunrise // Feb 3, 2014 at 8:42 am

    All NBA players named in this blog are purely fictitious and any resemblance they may have to any characters, real basketball players, politicians, boy scout leaders or drug addicts, derelicts and ne’er-do-wells––and/or any of the above––is purely coincidental.

    Any trade rumors are entirely based on conversations that may or may not have happened involving people who may or may not exist as reported by reporters who may or may not have had a slow news day, and commented on by fans who may or may not have an abundance of time on their hands or are simply bored at the moment, and/or tired of masturbating.

  • 59 HunterSThompson // Feb 3, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Lots of good stuff here!

    Since we have hashed out the general pros/cons of trading for Gasol, what exactly might our roster look like with him in it? Again, I am more bothered by giving up any players and/or picks aside from Okafor than I am about simply having Gasol on the roster. So, does he actually fit?

    He can play either PF or center, and people suggest he fits in at both positions on the Suns. His big bitch with D’Antoni last season was coming off the bench and on a roster of young guys I just don’t see him contributing that way. Therefore, let’s assume he starts at either/both center and PF.

    As a center: Suns starting lineup would be Frye at PF, Gasol at C, Tucker at SF, Green and Dragic at guard. Is Gasol a better interior defender than Plumlee? Stats show them to be almost identical in both rating, defensive rebounding (numbers and %), and defensive win share. Result? TIE.

    On the offensive end the stats remain very similar, with Plumlee actually having an edge in a few. BUT – I readily admit that Pau brings some interesting dynamics in terms of style of play. He is definitely a nice pick and roll guy which would help Dragic a lot for options within the current Suns style.

    He also likes to post up in the slower half court game (where the Suns often struggle to get good shots), even though there is some debate in Laker-land as to just how efficient he is in that role.

    Finally, he gets a nice amount of assists out of the center position passing out of the paint to open shooters. That inside-out angle is one the Suns don’t current have consistently in getting open looks. Gasol looks like he could add to the offensive dynamics in a nice way.

    Throwing Gasol at PF really messes up rotations, and does not look to really be a viable option. Frye would be first off the bench, pushing Kieff down the ladder. It would be hard to get the Morrii on the court together. Assuming no other roster moves are made, this is where I see an upset in current Suns chemistry, despite how great a guy Gasol may be.

    Having said all that and thought about it a bit, it does look and seem like Gasol would be a good fit at Center on the Suns. Plumlee definitely seems like he could return to a bench role if it meant following up a player the caliber of Gasol, and his energy off the bench might really be scary-good with Ish/Barbosa pushing the pace. As much of a fan as I am of Len, I really want the Suns to take it slow with him this season to allow his ankles to get strong and ready for a 10 year run. EBJM is absolutely right that Alex looks to project as a Pau-type player, so learning under him would be an amazing experience.

    Having slept on the possibility, I do like a possible Gasol addition more today than last night. I’m not sure this actually makes the Suns “contenders”, but they do become formidable, and would be a lot of fun to watch. I am intrigued…..thanks for the conversation all!

  • 60 Foreveris2long // Feb 3, 2014 at 9:01 am

    EBJM, funny stuff about being worth a Pau. Green has no doubt stepped up his game but I think the Suns are better with Bledsoe and Dragic than green and Dragic. Real Al Good insight about Gambo’s perspective. While I am not a huge Gambo fan, his take is interesting.

    Back to the trade, if it is just Okufur for Pau, absolutely I think it is worth the risk because I think it makes the Suns better as he would clearly be the best low post scorer on the team and he can reliably hit the 15 footer which keeps the lane open for Dragic. Adding draft picks and players would be against my better judgment because I too doubt the Suns are ready to win the West. It would be possible with a healthy Bledsoe but I question if anyone can accurately state he will return this season and be 100%.

  • 61 Foreveris2long // Feb 3, 2014 at 9:08 am

    VT, almost forgot, good insight about the Suns receiving love on the NBA channel. I did not see it but great to hear someone is noticing outside of Planet Orange. I try and catch that show as much as possible especially since CNN has been a little slow lately.

  • 62 EBJM // Feb 3, 2014 at 9:46 am

    VT have I been leaving my webcam on again?

  • 63 SHAZAM // Feb 3, 2014 at 9:47 am

    PHX. WANTS GASOL TO SELL TIX
    http://www.sunsdial.com/2014/02/phx-wants-gasol-to-sell-tix.html

  • 64 PTSUNS // Feb 3, 2014 at 9:50 am

    ONLY trade For Okafail’s contract. No draft picks for the Lakers, specially since they want to get Bledsoe or make us pay too much for him

  • 65 sunsn7 // Feb 3, 2014 at 10:02 am

    If the Suns trade for Gasol, it means the front office is sacrificing the future for a fun n gun run this year.

    And this Suns fan is absolutely against a trade for a RETREAD

  • 66 EBJM // Feb 3, 2014 at 10:08 am

    VT I’ve been auditioning for some of that extra technical writing work that you have been looking to outsource. I’m not used to this arctic freeze that has hit the South and more specifically Houston. It is too COLD do leave the house!

    Besides, Houstonians cannot drive on icy roads, it has been a regular demolition derby out on the streets.

  • 67 EBJM // Feb 3, 2014 at 10:10 am

    How are the Suns sacrificing the future? His contract expires this summer and Phoenix will more than likely only give up one pick to do the deal.

  • 68 vtsunrise // Feb 3, 2014 at 10:21 am

    EBJM, Sorry I didn’t tell you about the webcam earlier. I like to watch. I didn’t know you were left handed!

    Re: technical writing, I divorced the last person who described what I do as technical writing. Actually she divorced me (thankfully). I’m a financial writer.

    Re: Houston – I thought you were in Vegas.

    Re: cold – it’s relative. Move to PHX!

  • 69 SarverHater22 // Feb 3, 2014 at 10:52 am

    haha , obnoxious Laker fans wanna steal Bledsoe but it looks like the Suns instead are gonna steal Gasol ! lol

  • 70 EBJM // Feb 3, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    VT I thought you had heard when I resurfaced on this site that I made a temporary stop in Houston. I’ve only been here about four months and the weather here is crazy!

    One day it is like Vegas/Phoenix then it turns into Florida. Then suddenly it turns into Anchorage, Alaska! I don’t know how much more of it i can take.

    I only referred to your career as a “technical writer” because those were your words a few years back.

  • 71 DZ // Feb 3, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    There are plenty of players I’d rather see the Suns go after than Gasol but he might be the most realistic trade target. And at worst, the Suns would be trading one expiring contract for another and still have a load of cap space at the end of the season.

    It’s not a trade I’d jump at but it’s worth consideration.

  • 72 EBJM // Feb 3, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    VT I didn’t know you could become wealthy just writing about money! Kudos! Speaking of earning money I just learned how much some of those reality show stars earn.

    Talk about easy money! Chumlee from Pawn Stars based in Las Vegas was just an employee at that store. He was a childhood friend of the youngest owner.

    He is now worth over $5 million dollars. His girlfriend is this gorgeous Lebanese Chef, Tanya Hyjazi for whom he just gave breast implants to for her recent birthday.

    He said it was the right thing to do because she works hard for her money and he made enough in a couple of hours.

    Only in America!

  • 73 vtsunrise // Feb 3, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    EBJM, No one said anything about being wealthy, but I do well in the big scheme of things. It’s a lucrative niche. For freelance writing. But only because I work hard at it.

    Re: the weather, I think it’s been an unusually insane winter for many of us. Counting down the hours until we get fresh snow. About 34 hours +/-…

  • 74 ellensburgbballfan // Feb 3, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    The Suns might make this move to show bledsoe they want to win and entice him to resign for less $$$ that’s the only way this deal makes sense long term

    I would rather develop young talent and see where that goes, rather than having a mediocre team every year

    Suns are gonna have to sign bledsoe, sign gasol, and somehow add a third star?

    That’s gonna be hard to do unless they clear out other guys deals like Channing Frye

    And on top of all this, our stars at that point would be playing same position as Goodwin and Len so they don’t develope?

    Unless you can add a young superstar to those 2 guys its not worth it

    We would have to move Frye and take back expiring deals to make that possible

    You could get away with a deep run in the east but not the west with that lineup

  • 75 DZ // Feb 3, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    If this deal is made, I doubt the Suns would be counting on Gasol as more than a half-season rental and a boost to hopefully give the Suns a shot at making it to the second round of the playoffs. If Bledsoe returns and can play at anywhere near his former level, I can see that as a very real possibility.

    And that’s not because I think that Gasol would be that much of an upgrade over Plumlee. But having Gasol and Plumlee sharing the bulk of the minutes at the 5 could be a great 1-2 punch at that position. And with Bledsoe back, Green would return to the second unit which would probably be made up of Smith, Green, the M&M twins and Plumlee. That could be a very strong bench.

    I’m not really in favor of this trade but I can see some advantages to it.

    And I was just reading that this is only one of the trade possibilities that McDonough is exploring. The fact that this one has gotten some publicity might actually be because McDonough is using it to send a message to other teams to up their offers.

  • 76 EBJM // Feb 3, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    “Suns are gonna have to sign bledsoe, sign gasol, and somehow add a third star?”

    Seriously? Suns currently have one star playing, Goran Dragic. Trading Pau is for the playoff run and he would be auditioning for another contract and he woulod be the 2nd star.

    When Bledsoe comes back from his knee injury he would be the third star.

    Young stars like Bledsoe almost always go for the max contract.

    If Pau decides to stick around he could probably demand what Duncan and Garnett got last year, three years at $36 million. That might be a bit steep except that Frye would be on an expiring $6.8 million deal that McD would probably flip to a team trying to dump salary.

    One of the factors in bringing Pau on board is too help facilitate Len’s development. West simply does not have the skill set that Pau does to help develop Len.

    Goodwin is at least two years away minimum from being productive based on what he has shown this season.

    While I have been known to been unkind to Frye in the past, acquiring Pau would give Frye better looks from the three-point line. Pau is a willing passer as he averaged 3-4 dimes while playing with the Lakers.

  • 77 Solarion // Feb 3, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    No!……no,…..no…..no! NO!

  • 78 Curt // Feb 3, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    It is getting crowded down there in the playoff standings, with GS, Memphis and Dallas vying with the Suns. With 35 games left, can the Suns make it without any more help? Lot depends on how they weather upcoming Houston and GS. If Gasol can solidify a playoff spot and contend for at least the 2nd round, then maybe. But not for any players, and certainly try to limit helping Lakers as much as possible.

  • 79 noitallman // Feb 3, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    No thanks.

    Gasol does not fit this team in any way. He will kill our chemistry. His ability is past him for the most part. He wants too much money. He probably would not be re-signed.

    Now way we should give up anything beyond Okafor. How can you rent a guy for a few months and give up an asset for him.

    Not to mention stunting Plumlee’s future growth.

    No thanks, we don’t need old guys.

  • 80 Things that could end Suns' trade interest in Pau Gasol // Feb 4, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    […] Suns’ exploratory interest in Pau Gasol has been confirmed to be an ongoing discussion outside the depths of U.S. Airways […]

  • 81 Elviro (Italy) // Feb 5, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Gasol? and why? with him anyway … we will not win the championship and considerably lessen the space important to our youth ….

  • 82 eddie diaz // Feb 18, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    I dont think we should make any moves with the lakers .specially any moves that includes trading the twins or frye .we are on the right track with them twins I feel that they will developed to become much better players. I think thats gonna be a huge mistake in trading any of the players we have .we should go after a center without trading any of the twins or frye..

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