Is Pau Gasol worth the cost?

If Suns trade for Lakers' center, can he elevate them into the West elite?

Updated: February 4, 2014, 1:10 PM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | ESPN Insider

GasolAP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Consider the 2013-14 Phoenix Suns:

• Five days before the season opener, they traded Marcin Gortat for a player who can't play (Emeka Okafor) and a future draft pick.

• In Gortat's place, a guy who averaged a whopping 0.9 points per game last season, Miles Plumlee, has started all 47 games.

• So has P.J. Tucker, a hard-working wing defender who may be the most anonymous full-time starter in the league.

• The team's starting power forward, Channing Frye, spent much of last season in front of a camera as a pregame broadcaster on Suns telecasts while he took the season off to deal with a heart defect.

• They've gotten almost nothing out of Alex Len, a top-five pick who has barely been able to play thanks to offseason ankle surgery that has ravaged his debut campaign.

Eric Bledsoe, the explosive point guard acquired in the summer's trade of Jared Dudley, needed a chunk of his right meniscus removed Jan. 10 and has missed the past 17 games to rehab the injury.

• Injuries forced them last month to sign a 31-year-old out of a Brazilian basketball league who wrecked his ACL last February (Leandro Barbosa) and award him 20 minutes a night.

Gerald Green is second on the team in field goal attempts and is tied with Stephen Curry for the most 3-pointers per 36 minutes (8.0) among Western Conference players who qualify. Yes, Gerald Green.

• Jeff Hornacek, who'd never been a head coach at any level before, is now the head coach of a squad that won 25 games last season.

Got all that? Good. Now consider this: Two weeks ahead of the trade deadline, we're wondering if acquiring Pau Gasol would make them title contenders.


To read more of whether Tom Haberstroh thinks trading for Pau Gasol is worth the cost to Phoenix Suns, become an Insider today.