We’re still a couple weeks away from the NBA trade deadline, but already the rumors surrounding the Phoenix Suns are running.
Marc Stein of ESPN reported Sunday that the Suns are interested in acquiring Los Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol in a deal that would send the expiring contract of injured center Emeka Okafor and possibly a first-round draft pick to L.A.
The Suns currently sit 29-18 heading into Tuesday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls at US Airways Center. Once thought to be a team that would “tank” the season to improve their draft position, Phoenix is now considered a playoff team. That change in itself begs the question — do the Suns need to add a piece for the stretch run?
“It’s tough, we’ve got great chemistry right now,” Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports now on 98.7 FM Tuesday morning. “We have an exciting young team that plays hard, so it’s always a crapshoot. We’d like to grow with these guys, but if (GM) Ryan (McDonough) feels there’s something that’s going to make the team better in the long run, he’ll do it.”
The rookie head coach hit on an important question that will arise should the Suns add anyone — how will it affect team chemistry? Phoenix has been surprisingly tight-knit for a young roster featuring plenty of new faces.
“I think when you’re a successful team and you’re winning and somebody gets put into the mix, then they fall right in line,” he said. “They understand what was going on to make the team successful.
“It’s more when you’re a bad team and trades happen when guys come in and think they’re going to do it their way. But we’re a good team, so our thought is ‘this is the team we have.’ If something happens, we’ll work them in somehow.”