The Suns want a package that includes a younger player and a first-round pick for power forward Markieff Morris, several league executives told Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports. Phoenix has no intention of bringing back Morris next season but GM Ryan McDonough could wait until the summer to deal him if he doesn’t get the desired package, Wojnarowski continues. Phoenix already owns five first-rounders over the next three drafts, which motivates McDonough to get more than just a pick for Morris, Wojnarowski adds.
In other news around the league:
- The Kings and Magic are under internal pressure to make the playoffs and that increases the chances of those teams making a deadline deal, David Aldridge of NBA.com tweets. Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac were also canvassing league officials during the All-Star break on possible GM candidates, Wojnarowski reported in his trade deadline update. Divac holds the title of GM but the team is looking for someone who has more experience working with the collective bargaining agreement to assist him, as Wojnarowski details.
- The Knicks could make a play for the Bulls’ Pau Gasol, an unrestricted free agent this summer, even though center is not a clear position of need, Marc Berman of the New York Post opines. A source told Berman that money isn’t a primary concern for Gasol, which bodes well for the Knicks. Gasol is one of Knicks president Phil Jackson’s favorite players and he would make a perfect mentor to rookie power forward Kristaps Porzingis, Berman continues. The Knicks could attempt to trade current starter Robin Lopez to open up a spot for Gasol and might also clear cap space sooner by dealing backup big man Kyle O’Quinn, whom they’ve reportedly offered around, before the trade deadline, Berman adds.
- Lakers reserve shooting guard Nick Young is hopeful of getting traded to a playoff-bound team, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The club wants to move Young, as it tried to do during last season’s trade deadline and the offseason, but has struggled to find a taker, Medina continues. Young has two years and approximately $11.1MM remaining on his contract after this season, with a player option on the final year.
- There is only a slim possibility that the Warriors will make a trade before Thursday’s deadline, a source told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).