Feb 4, 2014, 9:49 PM EDT
Don’t be surprised if these talks start up again — part of the negotiation game is to walk away from the table if you can’t get the deal you want, then check back in a few days or weeks and see if positions have changed.
However, for now, the Pau Gasol to the Suns trade talks are off, reports Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
The Phoenix Suns have stopped talks to acquire Pau Gasol because they feel the Lakers want too much for the veteran post player, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Phoenix could own four picks in the June draft, and the Lakers coveted one of the more valuable two — the pick the Suns could potentially get from Minnesota or the one they might receive from Washington.
The Washington pick would be the No. 17 pick as of today, and it is top 12 protected so the Suns would get it. The Minnesota pick is top 13 protected and the Timberwolves are right on that bubble (12th as of the start of play Tuesday).
The Lakers would get considerable salary cap relief if they just traded Gasol for the Suns Emeka Okafor, as Gasol makes $19.3 million this season and Okafor $14.4 million (the Suns are under the salary cap so they could absorb the extra). However, saving money alone is a tough sell for the Lakers to their fan base, they will want one of those higher picks.
The obvious compromise is the Suns have their own pick (currently 22nd) and the Pacers’ pick (which will be one of the last handful of the first round).
But right now both teams are posturing to say they need to get more out of the deal, with the Lakers saying they could keep Gasol past the deadline and the Suns walking away from the table.
The Suns want to see Pau Gasol back on the court, which may be a couple weeks away now and closer to the trade deadline. Which is about when they can revisit the talks with the Lakers — if they don’t get a better offer for Okafor in the meantime — and see if positions have changed.
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