2013 NBA trade rumors: did Thunder and Suns talk Kendrick Perkins for Marcin Gortat over All-Star break?

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

As the trade deadline rapidly approaches, rumors upon rumors have us guessing as to whether the Thunder are going to make a play. Did OKC talk to Phoenix about swapping Kendrick Perkins for Marcin Gortat?

(Update: local Phoenix radio host John Gambadoro responds to the Gortat rumor on Twitter, embedded below)

AZ Central Suns reporter Paul Coro reported yesterday that during the All-Star break, there was discussion between the Thunder and Suns that would involve Kendrick Perkins and Marcin Gortat:

ESPN.com reported New York's interest in Jermaine O'Neal and Toronto's interest in Sebastian Telfair while another source said there was All-Star break talk of Oklahoma City exploring Marcin Gortat and P.J. Tucker for Kendrick Perkins, Jeremy Lamb and a first-round pick.

Perkins is the type of center to fit the new defensively geared culture, although he is limited offensively for a team wanting to post up its big men.

Lamb probably would have been the Suns' draft pick in June had Houston not made a trade to move up two spots and take him in front of Phoenix.

The Suns do have $6.4 million of cap room to take on salary in a deal, but it is more likely that the Suns stand pat to protect their two first-round draft picks and salary-cap space, which leaves room to sign a maximum-level free agent.

Let it be known that we predicted this potential trade here at WTLC nearly 2 weeks ago.

The deal would essentially be a swap for two known quantity centers and two up-and-coming youngsters. Perkins is a better defensive center while Gortat is vastly superior on the offensive end, and Gortat's ability to finish around the rim would pay great dividends for a Thunder team that can at times become perimeter oriented.

Dave King at Bright Side of the Sun likes the deal too:

I know that the Phoenix Suns are extremely averse to letting rumors fly of actual, live trade talk, so this may be no more than a one-way pipe dream. Yet this rumor appears heavily in favor of the Suns, despite Perkins having another year on his contract than Gortat while being a much inferior player at this point in their careers.

The Phoenix Suns have always liked rookie Jeremy Lamb, who was drafted one spot ahead of the Suns' #13 selection last June and later used by Houston (along with a guaranteed lottery pick and SG Kevin Martin) to acquire All-Star James Harden.

Lamb is buried on the bench of Finals contender, playing behind Thabo Sefolosha and Kevin Martin, so little is known of his actual NBA game at this point. But he did play well in summer league and preseason, so the promise is there.

Suns fans have begun to lose their love for the Polish Machine, Marcin Gortat, who has displayed inconsistent energy throughout the season to further exacerbate his offensive struggles with the loss of Steve Nash setting him up for easy scores.

***

Update

After the AZ Central rumor began to pick up steam, local Phoenix radio host John Gambadoro had this to say:

While I have no idea on what athority Mr. Gambadoro speaks or why he'd have additional information, intuitively it does make sense. Sam Presti is not one known for tipping his hand, so the fact that we got wind of these rumors may indicate only that it is not going to happen. Perhaps though there is another player whom OKC is chasing and this is mere diversion?

What do you think?

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