In the latest NBA trade rumors 2014 edition, the L.A. Lakers may be considering trade options with star forward Pau Gasol. Among the top suitors appear to be this year's most surprising team, the Phoenix Suns, who have been among the potential playoff teams in the Western Conference. The news arrives with superstar Kobe Bryant still on the sidelines healing from an injury, and the Lakers sitting at third-to-last in the West standings.
According to an ESPN.com report from Feb. 4, the Suns and Lakers have been engaged in trade talks for a short while now, including discussions that took place today about the four-time All-Star Gasol. There's just over two weeks until the NBA trade deadline arrives on Feb. 20, and although Phoenix appears to be highly-interested in Gasol, they're cautious over his current injury. Gasol has been recovering from a strained groin and just received a PRP injection today, with his timetable to return set at about two weeks. He'll get another evaluation just before All-Star Weekend 2014.
In terms of who the Suns might have to offer for the All-Star forward, injured big man Emeka Okafor may be one of the top names. Okafor has a $14.5 million salary this season, and an expiring contract. While the deal would save the Lakers salary cap money, they would also want some sort of draft picks or younger players included in the deal as well, since Gasol is worth $19.3 million for his salary this year. It's believed the Suns want to add an established player in Pau Gasol, to help with their playoff push this season. Adding him would also help them evaluate his future potential with the team and acquire his Larry Bird rights. Gasol is set to become a free agent in July.
Currently, the Phoenix Suns are sixth overall in the Western Conference standings with a record of 29-18, just a half game ahead of Golden State and two ahead of Dallas. If the season ended today, the Suns would be in the postseason, which is something not a lot of analysts may have expected. The team currently ranks sixth in the league in points per game with 104.9 and 16th in points allowed, limiting opponents to 101.3 per game, while also ranking 13th overall in rebounding. Shooting guard Goran Dragic is currently averaging 20 points per game and 6 assists to lead them, while Miles Plumless is adding 8.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.