Pacific Notes: Suns, Bledsoe, Warriors, Kobe

January 31 at 6:05pm CDT By Zach Links

Amazingly, Suns big man Emeka Okafor could be one of the most intriguing trade chips in February even though he’s probably done for the season.  Earlier today, our own Chuck Myron examined Okafor as a trade candidate and explained what his sizable expiring contract could do for the club that acquires him.  Here’s more from the Pacific Division..

  • Eric Bledsoe refused to confirm or deny whether he had a significant operation performed on his torn meniscus in a talk with Shams Charania of RealGM.  For a guard with his explosion, a major repair procedure of the meniscus part would bring long-term benefits but would also rule him out for the rest of the year.  Meanwhile, it would behoove him to return to the court this season before he hits restricted free agency in the summer.  For their part, the Suns have said that they expect the guard to be back in action some time after the All-Star break.
  • About a dozen NBA scouts watched Arizona practice at the Warriors‘ facility today, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo (via Twitter).  Big men Aaron Gordon and Brandon Ashley are getting most of the attention and about 20 NBA GMs have seen at least one Wildcats practice (link).  Colleges are now allowed to practice at NBA facilities and scouts are taking full advantage.
  • While Phil Jackson admitted during a TV appearance that the Lakers‘ two-year, $48.5MM contract extension for Kobe Bryant was more than he would have given, he also said that he expects the future Hall of Famer to return to prominence, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles,
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