Phoenix Suns stop trade talks with Lakers for Pau Gasol
The Phoenix Suns have stopped talks to acquire Pau Gasol because they feel the Lakers want too much for the veteran post player, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Phoenix could own four picks in the June draft, and the Lakers coveted one of the more valuable two -- the pick the Suns could potentially get from Minnesota or the one they might receive from Washington.
Both of those picks are protected and will revert back to Washington and Minnesota if they stumble. The Wizards’ pick is top-12 protected, so the Suns technically own it at this point (17th overall before Tuesday’s games), while the Timberwolves’ pick is top-13 protected, meaning Minnesota holds it right now (12th overall before Tuesday).
Phoenix also has its own pick (22nd overall as of Tuesday afternoon) and Indiana’s pick (currently 30th) in the draft, which is considered one of the best in years.
The talks could, of course, resume before the Feb. 20 trade deadline but the Lakers were reluctant to deal Gasol without receiving what they felt was adequate compensation. To make a trade with Phoenix work, the Lakers would have to take back the expiring contract of veteran center Emeka Okafor, who has not played this season because of a neck injury.
Gasol is making $19.3 million in the last year of his contract. Okafor is making $14.4 million.
Gasol is currently sidelined about two weeks because of a strained groin, Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni said Tuesday. Gasol received a platelet-rich plasma injection Monday to help the healing process.
“I will work hard to be back with the team as soon as possible,” he wrote on his Instagram feed, adding a photo of the minimally invasive procedure.
Gasol, 33, was off to a terrible start this season but played substantially better last month, averaging 20.8 points and 11.9 rebounds in January.
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