Rival executives from around the league believe the Lakers and Suns will likely resume trade discussions that will culminate in a deal that sends Pau Gasol to Phoenix in exchange for Emeka Okafor, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (via these tweets). Executives believe Gasol is the best player the Suns could receive for Okafor’s expiring, insured contract. Kennedy says it’s expected that Gasol will leave in free agency this summer if he remains with the Lakers, and executives believe LA would like to receive assets for Gasol at the trade deadline rather than letting him walk away this summer for nothing.
Talks between the two teams came to a halt earlier this month because the Suns believed the Lakers’ asking price for Gasol to be too high. Still, discussions were expected to continue through the deadline, and it appears Phoenix may now be under the belief that trading for Gasol might be worth sacrificing one of their potentially four 2014 draft selections.
Like Okafor, Gasol’s contract expires at the end of the season, and there’s no indication either way if he’d remain in Phoenix beyond this year if the Suns were to acquire him. However, Phoenix is fighting for a playoff spot, and acquiring Gasol might help supplement the club as a group that could potentially make some noise this postseason.