On Thursday, the silliest of leagues is about to hit its silliest part of the regular season. February 6 marks the beginning of the fortnight that leads up to the end of the NBA’s trading period. February 20 hosts the NBA’s trade deadline in late afternoon, and with the league’s seemingly disparate cultures apparently in flux, there figures to be quite a bit of trading action between now and then.

Or, there could be next to nothing, simply because of the fact that two (or three, or four) teams need to agree to tango in this instance. We’ve been promised much before, and let down many times – with two supposedly prominent trade deadlines in 2000 and 2006 only resulting in Anthony Johnson being dealt for very little in the waning hours.

Things went into hyperdrive this week when ESPN reported that the Los Angeles Lakers were considering dealing Pau Gasol to Phoenix for Emeka Okafor’s expiring contract, and potentially a lower-rung first round pick for what would figure to be two months plus the playoffs from Pau Gasol.

Apparently Phoenix’s considerations behind the deal weren’t really acknowledged, and on Tuesday evening the Los Angeles Times quietly confirmed that the Suns wanted no interest in dumping a pick and potential asset in Okafor’s massive expiring deal (to say nothing about using up their still available cap space) in order to bring in currently-ailing Gasol. Even if Pau was one of the West’s better players in January, averaging nearly 21 points and 12 rebounds a game.