Odds & Ends: Gasol, Suns, Bulls, Mirotic

At least three NBA GMs won’t be in New Orleans for All-Star weekend, as technology has changed the way deadline deals take shape, observes Ian Thomsen of SI.com. Thomsen’s piece is a revelatory examination of what goes on in the hidden world of NBA executives, and it’s worth a read. We’ll pass along another tidbit from it here among our look at the league’s latest:

  • Executives think Pau Gasol is the most significant player with a strong chance to be dealt, Thomsen writes. The likehihood of a Gasol deal has grown as the Lakers have dropped further from contention, Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding writes, identifying Chris Kaman, Jordan Hill and Steve Blake as other prime trade candidates on the Lakers.
  • Sam Smith of Bulls.com hears the Suns, who’ve been pursuing Gasol and his expiring contract, aren’t looking for short-term help and would prefer to trade for a player who can be a mainstay for years to come.
  • Smith also says that the Bulls are targeting veterans and buyout candidates rather than D-Leaguers for their 13th roster spot, suggesting Marcus Camby as a possibility, though it’s unclear if the Bulls truly have interest in signing the 39-year-old big man.
  • An NBA executive thinks that if Nikola Mirotic were eligible for this year’s draft, he’d be a top-three pick, tweets Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com.
  • Jameer Nelson says the Magic haven’t indicated to him they have any plans to trade him, and, according to Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling, he has no plans to test free agency this summer. Of course, Nelson might not have a choice, since the Magic can save $6MM of his $8MM salary for next season if they waive him on or before July 15th.
  • Adam Silver isn’t quite sure why players would be opposed to the idea of raising the age limit to 20, which he supports, as the commissioner tells Sam Amick of USA Today. Silver also suggests that allowing teams an extra year to scout prospects will help clubs with high draft picks make the right choice more often, leading to more leaguewide parity.
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