When the offseason began it looked more and more like Shaq orwould be the first to go in Kerr’s rebuilding process; a process thought to be centered around Amar’e Stoudemire.
As time has passed and Amar’e has quickly assured Suns fans that he does not plan to bleed purple and orange after next season, it is Amar’e – not Shaq and J-Rich – who NEEDS to be dealt this offseason.
Early Saturday morning Amar’e Stoudemire was on ESPN Radio in New York stating his case to become a New York Knickerbocker.
When asked how serious he will consider the Knicks in 2010, Amar’e responded, “I will be totally serious about that. I spent a lot of my childhood there, I have a connection with the state, and I also love the entire coaching staff.”
He went on to say, “I think Coach D’Antoni’s doing a phenomenal job with the Knicks. NY’s a great city, I follow them closely.”
New York is not the only place in STAT’s sights. In a May 29 radio interview in Washington, D.C., Stoudemire expressed his interest in the Wizards.
When asked if he’s heard that his name is rumored to be mentioned in trade talks with Washington, Amar’e responded, “I love D.C., quote, end quote.” They repeated the question and again he said, “I love D.C., quote, end quote.”
He was then asked how far he thought the Wizards were from winning a championship.
He stated, “You might just be a No. 1 jersey away.”
Amar’e was also asked what the chances were that he would be in a Phoenix Suns uniform next season, and he answered, “I think it’s 50 percent.”
Yes Amar’e loves to talk, but where there is smoke, there is usually fire. If all of STAT’s mouth-running actually surfaces, why would the Suns just let him walk after next season? The Suns NEED to trade Amar’e. Not J-Rich, not Shaq, not Nash – Amar’e.
Why the Suns need to trade Amar’e:
- He is going to opt out after next season anyway, leaving the Suns with nothing but cap space in return.
- If the Suns do trade him, although it won’t be for equal value, at least they will get something of value in return.
- It allows them to stay under the luxury tax going into 2010.
- He clearly does not want to be in Phoenix.
- Shaq and Amar’e cannot play together.
- He is an ATROCIOUS defender, on a team full of atrocious defenders.
Possible trade scenario
One trade rumor that has been tossed around the NBA rumor mill is Amar’e for Antawn Jamison, Mike James’ Expiring Deal and Washington’s fifth-overall draft pick, which works according to ESPN’s Trade Machine.
WAS Trades – 5th Pick, Antawn Jamison
PHX Trades – Amar’e Stoudemire
2009 SUNS Lineup
PG – Nash
SG – J-Rich
SF – Harden
PF – Jamison
C – Shaq
Bench: Hill, Barbosa, Dragic, Lopez, etc.
This would be great value for Amar’e. Jamison can be a 20-10 guy (career: 19.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg), and can spread the floor with his three-point shot. Although he is not an inside threat, he would fit well with Shaq in the middle.
This also allows the Suns to draft James Harden, which is a position of need at the deteriorating small forward position. Harden can essentially play the 1-3 positions and would alleviate some pressure offafter Nash expires.
The Suns lose some payroll and get a lot younger, while staying competitive. As it seems Amar’e does not have Phoenix in his future plans, he needs to be traded this offseason, and this is the trade that I am lobbying for.
How would this trade impact the draft?
Obviously the potential WAS/PHX deal would change the upcoming draft quite a bit for the Suns. The Suns would hold two top-15 picks, and four total picks.
At the fifth pick, the Suns have to choose the best player available, which seems to be James Harden. If Jordan Hill were to fall to the fifth pick, he would be my guy, but it seems Harden is the man at five.
The pick that changes most with Amar’e gone is the 14th. It seems a lot more sensible to plan on DeJuan Blair at 14 because the Suns lose rebounding in Amar’e's absence. He would fit in nicely next to Jamison after the Diesel expires, and he could also play alongside Ro-Lo.
I have been skeptical in the past of any frontcourt players playing at under 6-9 or so (Blair is 6-7). But after seeing guys like Chuck Hayes and Carl Landry do the dirty work in the playoffs at that size, I definitely think Blair could be a force.
If Amar’e were dealt to Washington, the 2009 Suns draft summary should look as follows:
5th: James Harden
14th: DeJuan Blair
48th: A.J. Price
57th: Jeff Adrien
If Amar’e was traded, what could the Suns look like after next season?
As it appears Amar’e will opt out in 2010, Shaq and J-Rich become key pieces for the Suns this season.
J-Rich’s contract will be near impossible to move, so the Suns might as well just build around him.
Now that the Amar’e-Shaq project had ended, Shaq can stay in Phoenix next season, put up numbers, fill seats, and serve as one of the largest expiring contracts heading into the summer of 2010.
Assuming the Suns don’t accommodate Nash’s ridiculous extension wishes, the Suns should let Nash walk after next season. This would save the team $13 mill and would allow Goran Dragic to be the team’s starting point guard.
Between the potential Amar’e trade and Shaq and Nash expiring, the Suns would have over $33 million come off the books going into 2010.
This would allow the Suns to sign a defensive/rebounding center like Marcus Camby or Tyson Chandler and a veteran backup point guard like Earl Watson.
Assuming Amar’e is dealt, Shaq and Nash are not re-signed, and J-Rich isn’t traded, the Suns roster could look like this heading into 2010:
PG- Goran Dragic/Earl Watson/A.J. Price
SG- Jason Richardson/Leandro Barbosa
SF- James Harden/
PF- Antawn Jamison/DeJuan Blair/Jeff Adrien
C- Marcus Camby/
It is definitely not ideal for Amar’e to be traded, as he is one of the best young big men in the league.
But considering his wishes and the Suns’ financial situation, it is becoming more and more likely that he will in fact be moved. If he is traded, the Washington trade shows that even without their franchise player, the Suns could put a very competitive team on the court, while building for the future.
It’s simple: Amar’e wants a new team and a new contract in 2010. The Suns should accommodate his wishes by trading the big man for an established player and some youth.
Amar’e NEEDS to be traded this offseason or Steve Kerr will be remembered for letting one of the NBA’s premier scorers walk for absolutely nothing.