The Lakers and Phoenix Suns engaged in a fresh round of trade discussions Monday focused on four-time All-Star center Pau Gasol as both sides continued to assess their options in advance of the Feb. 20 trade deadline, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. Sources told ESPN.com that, while there is substantive interest on both sides, it's believed Suns officials want to see how Gasol recovers from a strained groin before deciding whether to take talks to the next level. Gasol noted on his Instagram page that he'd received a PRP injection on his groin on Monday. "Today I got a PRP shot to help the healing of my groin injury," Gasol wrote on Instagram. "I will work hard to be back with the team as soon as possible." After averaging a robust 20.8 points and 11.9 rebounds in January, Gasol is expected to miss the next three games with the groin injury, which the Lakers do not regard as serious. ESPN reported on Sunday the Suns were strongly considering trading for Gasol as part of their well-chronicled desire to acquire an established player as they make a playoff push this season. 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. A trade for Okafor's expiring deal would save the Lakers $4.8 million, taking them less than $3 million away from the league's luxury-tax threshold, meaning one more smaller deal before the trade deadline could conceivably be enough to take them out of tax territory completely. Because the trade would not bring the Lakers all the way under the luxury tax, sources said L.A. remains insistent on getting back draft picks or young players in addition to salary cap savings for the 33-year-old Gasol.
Suns careful over Pau Gasol
ESPN | Feb 4