The Phoenix Suns are playing good basketball in 2013-14, despite many feeling as if they’d be one bottom feeders out west this season. The fact remains that these Suns have done a lot with just a little this season, as many developing players have stepped up, and made big impacts on a growing team.
A piece the Suns may be missing, in their pursuit to go from mediocre, to force to be reckoned with once playoffs roll around, is that of a veteran presence. The Suns have plenty of active, young pieces, that have taken the league by storm, but they sorely lack in the leadership department. Well, if they happen to get their way, they’ll reportedly be adding Pau Gasol to the fold. Gasol is a 13-year NBA vet, with experience that consists of everything including NBA Champion.
Gasol could really help push this team over the edge, as far as being more than simply a good regular season team goes. The Lakers have been said to be searching for trade partners for Gasol for as long as anyone can remember. It just always seems as if what’s offered is never good enough for LA to pull the trigger.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Suns, among the options being weighed as part of their well-chronicled desire to acquire an established player as they make an unexpected playoff push this season, have been exploring the feasibility of trading for the Lakers’ four-time All-Star.
One option for the Suns, by virtue of their $5.6 million in available salary-cap space, is swapping the expiring contract of injured big man Emeka Okafor for Gasol, even though Okafor’s $14.5 million salary this season falls well shy of Gasol’s $19.3 million.
In a perfect world (for the Suns), the Lakers would simply take the Okafor for Gasol swap, and walk away happy, but this is the real world, and the likelihood that the Lakers will accept anything less than some useful, young piece in any deal that requires them to send off Gasol, is slim to none.
The Suns do have youth in their corner, as they only boast five players on their current roster, who have played more than five seasons in the association. Perhaps they can lure the Lakers into move that nets them Gasol, sends of Okafor, and only costs them one or two young pieces in the process.