Pacific Notes: Gasol, Bledsoe, Lakers, Gay

As expected, Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe tells Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic that he will likely return to the court this Wednesday (Twitter link). How well Bledsoe plays following a two month absence will impact both the Suns hopes for the playoffs as well as what kind of offers he will field during restricted free agency this summer. Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Rudy Gay has been having the best stretch of his career with the Kings, but it’s a bittersweet accomplishment considering he’s doing it for a losing team in Sacramento. For the second season in a row, Gay has been traded from a playoff team to a non-contender, and he spoke with reporters including James Herbert of SB Nation about being moved from the Raptors, only to see them turn around and contend for the Eastern Conference’s third seed. “They’re a playoff team,” Gay said. “Of course I’d like to be a part of that. I’m in Sacramento now and I have to build this team. We don’t know if that would have happened if I were there, too. It happened early in the season. Nobody knows.” 
  • Prior to Thursday night’s games against the Clippers game on TNT, Kobe Bryant told Ric Bucher he believes there’s an 80% chance Pau Gasol will return to the Lakers next season, per a broadcast transcription from Matthew Moreno of Lakers Nation. (H/T Serena Winters)
  • In a series of tweets, Arash Markazi of laments the fact that Phil Jackson is likely headed to the Knicks instead of becoming a more influential part of the Lakers. The legendary coach was spurned by the Lakers in favor of Mike D’Antoni early last season, and it appears the complicated relationship he has with the Buss family will ultimately prevent a front office reunion.
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