Schmitz: Au Revoir Amar’e

After giving the Phoenix Suns seven seasons of posterizing dunks and highlights, Amar'e may have played his final game in a Phoenix Suns uniform.   

After giving Phoenix seven seasons of posterizing dunks and highlights, it's time for Amar'e and the Suns to part ways.

When the offseason began it looked more and more like Shaq or Jason Richardson would 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 off Goran Dragic after 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/Jared Dudley

PF- Antawn Jamison/DeJuan Blair/Jeff Adrien

C- Marcus Camby/Robin Lopez

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.

Tags: Amar'e Stoudemire

  • N8lol

    sigh. I dont know….The lineups you put down are not awe inspiring in the least. I am totally ambivalent about them. So lets go with what we do agree on, someone needs to be traded. Im not sure how I feel about the gung hoe “Trade Amare” stuff. Or about the Nash walks next year, stuff. In the midst of so much turmoil, we went from a team a month ago that was all about keeping it together to one essentially on the verge of exploding. If this is a start-over, we need to do some more drastic things than this. To me, trading Nash seems ludicrous. LEtting him walk seems ludirous. The guy is only asking for a million more a season. Not much in the scheme of things really. Amare is different. If we are going to trade anyone we should be trying to rid ourselves of Rich. It might be hard but, honestly, anything is worth it really. We just dont need him at all. I dont know…I just dont know.

  • Justin B.

    I agree that Amare needs to be traded, but I don’t think drafting James Harden is ideal. I would draft Jordan Hill (as you mentioned, if he’s available), Brandon Jennings, Stephen Curry, or Jonny Flynn. I’d rather Washington gave us Caron Butler (as has also been rumored), but Jamison makes way more sense, since he’s a power forward. But, Jamison’s contract is way too long and he’s pretty old, even if he is still pretty good. He’s also not a bad rebounder by any means — probably a better rebounder than Amare. But, the goal with trading Stoudemire should be to get pieces to rebuild around. If we get veteran talent back, fine, but their contract needs to be reasonably short and inexpensive, so there’s flexibility.

  • DT

    Blair will not be there at 14

  • Michael Schmitz

    I as well would rather take Jordan Hill, but I don’t see him slipping past four. The only other guys I would consider at five are Jennings and Derozen because of their massive upside, but Harden is the next Joe Johnson in my opinion, and can play the point through the small forward,which is very valuable. As for Caron Butler, I haven’t heard his name and any rumors and doubt Washington would deal him, but if thats the case I would perfer him over Jamison. Jamison may be 33 but he averaged the second most points in his career last year (22.2) and played 81 games. I think he would be great in a Suns uni. The potential teams I put together are subject to opinion, but it is clear that we would have tons of flexibility if this trade did in fact go down. We would be able to draft Harden/Jennings and Clark/Blair, which would be nice for the future with Goran and Lopez. We would also be able to go after some moderately big names in 2010, Josh Howard, Camby, Ty Chandler, Peja, etc.

  • BBfan

    He is an ATROCIOUS defender, on a team full of atrocious defenders

    Sounds like the suns we all know.
    nash will never play a game in the Finals.
    Unless he’s traded to the Lakers, Spurs or Blazers.
    The worst (quote) MVP (unquote) in NBA history.

  • JM

    If Amare is an atrocious defender, then Antawn Jamison is a super-duper atrocious defender. Look at defensive +/- on and you’ll see that Jamison rated +1.88 while Amare rated -4.04. You can take those numbers with a grain of salt, but there’s no denying Washington was a very bad defensive team last year, and Jamison played a lot for that team.

    Also, just to put Stoudemire’s defensive atrociousness in the context of his atrocious teammates, Stoudemire ranked as a better defender in terms of defensive plus/minus at -4.04 than Nash (+1.76), O’Neal (+4.30), Barbosa (+.59), and Richardson (+5.05)… so, replacing a (maybe) bad defender with a definitely worse (and aging) defender seems like a bad idea. The real culprits for bad defense are O’Neal, Richardson, and to a lesser extent, Nash.

  • Artur “Baguete” Mascarenhas

    If Amare wants out, get him out. The Suns are WAY bigger than this guy and I think he should be more grateful to the Suns than the other way around. There are very few franchise players in this league and Amare is not one of them so I wont be sorry at all when he leaves.

    The question is: who can we get in exchange? I like the Washigton trade, even though I dont care that much about the #5 pick. If we can work this trade, I hope Michael is right and we can land a Joe Johnson 2.0.

    At this point, we should pile up vets like Nash, Shaq, Hill, Rasheed Wallace, Antawn Jamison, Shawn Marion and other guys with a 2-or-3-years window and assemble the “Last Ride Team”. They all would be eager for a ring and they will have a lot to teach to LB, J-Rich, Dudley, Amoundson, etc., maybe in the process we can find a franchise-player-in-the-making and when these guys retire we will have enough cap to build great rosters.

  • Aaron

    The thing about Jamison is, his style of play is one that ages well. He’s a canny, sneaky offensive player who gets his points off of spot-up threes, twisting turn-arounds, and put-back tip shots. He’s always had a slow footed, floor bound game… he really shouldn’t lose much over the course of his contact (save perhaps some stamina).

    He could start for another year or two, then finish his contract as a phenomenal sixth-man.

    Those lineups don’t look to hot though. I think you bring Jamison and the fifth pick in planning a youth movement, with Jamison as the steady veteran. Trades after that should be for more youth.

  • Michael Schmitz

    I’m not saying to trade Amar’e because he is an atrocious defender, trade him because he is most likely going to opt out in 2010 and we will get more long term value out of him rather than Nash (questions about age), Shaq (contract nearly impossible to move), and J-Rich (contract is impossible to move). I don’t really know what to make of those statistics because there is so much that goes into that: who the players usually guard, how there team is defensively, etc. Amar’e and Jamison alike are awful defenders, but by trading Amar’e and waiting out the contracts of Shaq and Nash, the Suns are able to fill seats next season, while getting out of their financial rut going into 2010. By that time they are able to add defensive bigs like marcus Camby via free agency, something the Suns would not be able to do if Nash and Shaq expired and they signed Amar’e to a max contract like they would have to.

    Look, the guy is a phenomenal talent but he does not want to stay in Phoenix after next season, and you just CAN’T lose a player of that caliber for nothing.

  • Chris

    People seem to forget that the Suns made the Western Conference Finals without Amare in a uniform in 05-06. They were a Raja Bell blown calf muscle from getting to (and almost definitely winning) the Finals. They took it to six games and were competitive down the stretch without their best perimeter defender, and had no Amare. He’s a great offensive player and gets more rebounds than he usually gets credit for, but if he wants out get a more mature power forward who does the little things. That would help locker room chemistry and would allow Amare to go be selfish somewhere else where they need him more.

  • Justin B.

    I see your point about Jamison’s game aging well. Still not sure if I think it’s a good one with Jamison involved. An earlier rumor I heard about a Washington trade (on Gambo & Ash, KTAR) was Amare for Caron Butler, Nick Young, and JaVale McGee. I would do that trade in a heartbeat, but it doesn’t make much sense for Washington, since now they have two power forwards who’ll want to start and neither one would do well moving to the 3. It would also put the Suns in a little bit of a bind, since you’d have to have Grant come off the bench, unless he moved to the four — which wouldn’t work against very many teams, and have to either bench Jared Dudley or trade him, and neither of those are good options, as he’s the type of solid role player the Suns need going forward.

  • Hersey

    It is disappointing to hear Amar’e going on the offensive when his eye hasn’t even healed yet. I have no problem with guys insisting their teams improve and using the opt out as leverage but working the media usually mean adios. The Suns need to reload but I think STAT’s eye is something that has to be 100% healed before we can even think about keeping or trading him

  • Michael Schmitz

    I disagree.

  • Vega

    First, it is doubtful that Harden will fall to the fifth spot. OKC is really high on him, and will likely take him with the third pick. Jordan Hill is probably your guy.

    Personally, I don’t see why the Suns would want Jamison. He’s old, and he has an awful contract. I would try this trade:

    Wizards receive:
    Amar’e Stoudimire

    Suns receive:
    Mike James
    Javaris Crittenton
    Andray Blatche
    Nick Young
    Javale McGee
    Fifth pick

    The Wizards would get rid of their unused prospects and get a veteran big to slide right in to the starting lineup at the five, and the Suns would get several nice prospects, including a young point guard in J-Critt, an athletic seven-footer in McGee, and a solid sixth man in Nick Young.

  • Michael Schmitz

    Ok maybe OKC is really high on Harden, but I don’t see him being taken 3rd overall, if it happens, feel free to shoot me an “I told you so” but I am skeptical. I still think Antawn would be a good fit because of his perimeter game. He is getting up there in age, but is still just as productive as he has been his entire career. His contract is definitely not ideal, but it is no worse than J-Rich’s. The Suns would some nice role players in your trade, but no one with all-star potential. We will just have to wait and see what happens…

  • Vega

    You’re not going to get anyone with all-star potential form the Wiz. Their whole idea is to get a veteran to play with their current veterans to win now. Now, as in the next couple of years.

    Also, the Suns need to go total rebuild mode. Ancient veterans with horrid contracts isn’t the way to do it. You do it the Sonics/Thunder way. You trade all of your old veterans who can’t do anything for you anymore to teams who can give you prospects and picks and go from there. You’ll have a couple horrendous years, but it is the best way to ensure future success for your franchise.

    I guarantee that James Harden gets pick by the Thunder.

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  • BT

    Hahah your scenario is too pessimistic for such a Suns fan to think up. And sad to read.
    The wizards are definitely willing to give up more for Amare. Remember Flip Saunders is a all offense no defense coach on a team with no post prowess so Amare’s like his wet dream.
    Based on their young player development in the past 2 seasons, I think they have little loyalty to the likes of Nick Young, Dominic McGuire, Blatche… and McGee and Crittenton never looked interested on the court either. Jeez what an awful organization it has turned into
    And what about offers from the Knicks?…
    Suns 1.0 and Suns 2.0 swapping players doesn’t seem that fun though

  • V

    Like the guy above said, that's so pessimistic.

    Looking at a guy like Kerr, you can tell that J-Rich (the MOST un-needed guy) has a contract that's undumpable. Suns need good perimeter defenders. They have an aging Grant Hill in one, but when they get rid of their best one in Bell for some 3-lobbing inconsistent guy in J-Rich it's pathetic. 1st they should try to dump his contract, which seems unfeasible. If that's unsuccessful, then they're practically screwed for a couple seasons, because imo a perimeter defender is more important than a big man that you're emphasizing for the Suns. Shaq is already intimidating to go through, and Amar'e is decent enough to make some big defensive plays.

    And the Nash thing, are you kidding? 1 mil more he wants and it's ridiculous? If anything he should get payed 5 more mil. His game improved greatly when Gentry came in. His game will stay improved because Gentry is now permanent.

  • jt

    I cant stop laughing so basically this article suggest we’re rebuilding around Shaq(37) J-Rich a top 10 shooting guard and Antawn Jamison(33) who”s defense is worst then Amare..Amare never said he doesnt want to play Steve Kerr keeps shopping him he doesnt know if hes going to be traded or not at the deadline he said he was trying to sign an extention this summer..We need to Trade J-rich for Camby(works for both sides) and we trade shaq to either New Orleans Cleveland or the bulls..thats what they should be talking about because trading amare for scrubs isnt going to make us better

  • Michael Schmitz

    Not rebuilding around Shaq, rebuilding around J-Rich, hopefully Dragic and Lopez, and our what would be 5th and 14th draft picks. Look I would love to ship Steve, Shaq and J-Rich and build around Amar’e but its just not plausible, no one will take on those contracts. What I am saying is, because Amar’e does not plan on playing for the Suns in 2010, we need to trade him for at least some value. If the guy was actually trying to sign an extension than he needs to shut his yapper about how many champiionships hes going to bring to Wash and how great it will be to play for the Knicks. It sounds simple to say just trade Shaq, but if that contract gets moved this offseason, kudos to Steve Kerr.

  • schlitt47

    James Harden is the most overrated player in college basketball. Can't be serious about him being a legitimate pick for the suns as consolation for Amar'e? I suppose next is Chase Budinger?

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  • fandiego

    He sporting 2 bad knees and eyes. Trade him to the clips with our 14th pick for Davis and thier 1st pick. Don’t resign Nash, which saves the Suns 6 million. They would almost be under the cap with a point guard as good as Nash but defends. We would have a new Amare in Griffin. After Shaq leaves we have 20 million to get Bosh to go with Griffin. Sounds a lot like Boston….

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