Pau Gasol’s Arrival Wouldn’t Make Phoenix Suns Contenders

By Juan Pablo Aravena
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA Today Sports

The Phoenix Suns were widely expected to tank this year in order to get a high selection in the upcoming draft, but they have surprised the entire NBA as they are currently battling for a playoff spot in a stacked Western Conference.

And it seems like they want more after being reportedly interested in trading for Los Angeles Lakers’ big man Pau Gasol who is looking for a way out of L.A. as soon as possible before entering free agency next season. There’s no doubt that Gasol would make the Suns a much better team, but his arrival wouldn’t make the team an automatic contender for a Conference title.

To start, Gasol would be the best player on the team and the focus will be drawn over him almost instantly. All eyes would be on him to make an impact, but the Spaniard has often worked as the “second-superstar” with the Lakers. It is unclear how he would respond to the challenge of being the focal point in an offense he would have to learn on the fly.

A bigger thing is that the Suns would disrupt the team’s chemistry and they would have to continue overachieving. Players like Gerald Green, Channing Frye and Goran Dragic have all been playing above the expectations – with Dragic looking like an All-Star this year – and it remains to be seen if they will be able to keep the same level of play if Gasol is inserted into the offense. The Spaniard would require several touches to make an impact which could change the current offensive flow of the team.

While it’s no secret that the Suns will be a better team if they land Gasol this year, his arrival won’t make them automatic contenders. Phoenix still has a long way to go before being the dominant force it was in the early 2000s.

Juan Pablo Aravena is a sports writer for Follow him on Twitter @jparavenarant or add him to your network on Google

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