Updated 09:11 AM EST, Mon, Jan 25, 2021

NBA Trade Rumors Update: Cleveland Cavaliers Re-Emerge as Trade Partner for Pau Gasol

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The Cleveland Cavaliers have re-emerged as a possible trade partner for the Los Angeles Lakers after the Phoenix Suns backed out from talks regarding a potential swap involving All-Star power forward Pau Gasol and center Emeka Okafor, a source close to situation reported on Wednesday.

According to Fox Sports, the Suns have already stopped their trade talks with the Lakers as they believe the purple-and-gold franchise is asking for too much in exchange for the aging Spanish power forward.

"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," reported Fox Sports.

Reports indicated the Lakers reportedly wanted one of two of the most valuable first-round picks the Suns could have in this year's draft, but the Suns front office believes the Lakers' asking price was just too much for Gasol, who is averaging 17 points, 10 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game this season.

"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," Fox Sports reported.

"Both of those picks are protected and will revert back to Washington and Minnesota if they stumble. The Wizards' pick is top-12 protected, so the Suns technically own it at this point (17th overall before Tuesday's games), while the Timberwolves' pick is top-13 protected, meaning Minnesota holds it right now (12th overall before Tuesday)."

Cavaliers, Lakers Deal Still Possible

There are reports circulating that the Lakers are still considering the Cleveland Cavaliers as a potential trade partner for Gasol. The Cavs and Lakers already engaged in trade negotiations before regarding Gasol for Andrew Bynum, before Cleveland shipped the disgruntled center to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for All-Star small forward Luol Deng.  

"Speaking of the Cavaliers, ESPN reports that the Lakers have stayed in contact with Cleveland regarding a possible Gasol deal, though nothing is happening on that front right now due to the Cavs' record being just as bad as L.A.'s," Lakerholics reported. 

Gasol is playing the final year deal of his contract and could leave Los Angeles without just compensation this summer.

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