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Steve Kerr: Phoenix Suns trading for Pau Gasol could make sense

LISTEN: Steve Kerr, NBA analyst for TNT

The NBA trade deadline hits Thursday afternoon and all over the league people are wondering if there will be a blockbuster trade.

That’s especially true here in Phoenix.

The Suns are the most surprising team in the league, and at 31-21, there is a chance they’ll try to fortify their roster for a playoff run this season.

So is there a deal out there that makes sense for general manager Ryan McDonough and the Suns?

“I like the (Pau) Gasol possibility,” former Suns GM and TNT broadcaster Steve Kerr told Doug and Wolf Wednesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “I’ve been watching Gasol the last two years — he looks miserable. I think he’s got a second wind and I think a change of scenery would do him good.

“If you look at it from Phoenix’s standpoint, if he were to come in and be your starting center, you’ve got (Miles) Plumlee as a great backup and you have (Alex) Len who can kind of learn the ropes for a couple of years under Gasol, assuming you can re-sign him.”

The Suns are in a prime position to make a meaningful trade for two reasons. They hold the expiring $14.5 million contract of veteran center Emeka Okafor and they’ve successfully stockpiled first-round draft picks in the near future.

Understandably, McDonough and his staff will proceed cautiously with such attractive commodities, but Kerr feels like parting with a first-round pick for the Lakers’ veteran makes sense.

“If you had to give up that Indiana pick, which will probably end up being the 30th pick in the draft, I don’t think that’s a huge deal,” he said. “It is a huge deal if you’re focused on someone else. If you’ve got your eye on another star out there and you need every asset you possibly can get, then that pick makes a difference.

“But if you’re going to use that pick, that guy is not going to come in and crack the rotation next year, so that’s one I would really explore.”

The Suns acquired the first-rounder referenced by Kerr in an offseason trade with the Pacers that also brought Plumlee and wing Gerald Green to Phoenix.

Gasol, who has missed Los Angeles’ last six games with a groin injury, could play Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets.

The four-time All-Star went on record Tuesday saying being traded “would be tough.”