Suns Rumors: Should the Suns keep Amar'e?

If the Suns aren't able to get close to equal value for Amar'e Stoudemire, why not make some moves and build around the 26-year old big man? 

If the Suns aren't going to get close to equal value for Amar'e Stoudemire via trade, why not make some moves and build around the 26-year-old All-Star?

I have lobbied for an Amar’e trade on VotS several times before, as I assumed Amar’e would undoubtedly be gone after next season and the Suns should get some quality players in return while they can.

Those two assumptions appear to be wrong, changing my stance on the talented big man. 

Stoudemire’s agent has made it public that Amar’e would like to sign an extension this summer. Apparently he wants to stay in Phoenix and be “the man.”

Amar’e can express his love for Phoenix all he wants, but if the right deal came up, I would still ship him off in a heartbeat. The only problem is the right deal has yet to surface.

Reportedly the Suns had agreed to a deal in principle with the Warriors before the draft, a deal that included the 7th pick.  Assuming Stephen Curry would not be available, the Warriors were set to draft Arizona’s Jordan Hill for the Suns. Hill would then be sent to Phoenix along with Andris Biedrins and Brandan Wright and possibly other role players.

When Curry fell to the Warriors, Nellie and the boys backed out and jetted to the Bay with their new boy toy Steph Curry. If only Minnesota drafted Stephen Curry the Suns would be able to begin the rebuilding process around guys like Jordan Hill, Andris Biedrins, Earl Clark, Leandro Barbosa, and Goran Dragic.

While Memphis, Atlanta, and Chicago have been rumored to be interested in Stoudemire, the Golden State deal is the only one with substance. Teams are shying away from STAT’s health issues (eye and knee) and max contract demands, making it harder and harder for Kerr to move Amar’e. 

With all of that said, why not keep Amar’e?

In order for Amar’e to be happy in Phoenix and for the Suns to remain competitive, several things need to happen.

This offseason the Suns need to:

1. Move J-Rich

Richardson is an exciting two-guard, but his contract is one of the main reasons the Suns will not be able to give Amar’e the extension he wants.  ESPN’s Ric Bucher tweeted, “Brief talks between Hou and PHX, TMac 4 JRich. Couldn’t get the #s to work. No talk since I’m told.”

Yes this was a few days ago, but at least it is a possibility. Trade J-Rich, Tucker and salary filler for Tracy McGrady (who has a league-high $23-plus million expiring deal). This allows you to remain competitive next season, while getting one of the largest expiring contracts in NBA history heading into the most hyped offseason in NBA history.

2. Go get Tyson Chandler

The Hornets NEED to shed salary and they have chosen to cut bait with the oft-injured Tyson Chandler to do just that.  The Suns are one of the only teams who can offer the Hornets that salary relief coming in the form of Ben Wallace’s contract. 

New Orleans is so desperate that the Suns may be able to also squeeze the Hornets’ 2011 first-round pick out of GM Jeff Bower.

Amar’e needs a big man who rebounds, blocks shots and defends next to him to cancel out his deficiencies in those areas. Tyson Chandler is that guy.  He is very injury prone, but if the Suns could revive the careers of Grant Hill and Shaquille O’Neal, they could work wonders with the 26-year-old Chandler. 

Imagine Chandler blocking shots to ignite the break and catching lobs from MVSteve in transition. Amar’e would get to play his natural position without Shaq clogging up the paint, allowing him to attack the basket and deliver the ferocious Amar’e dunks Suns fans are used to. 

3. Acquire a 2010 first-round draft pick

Kerr needs to find a way to acquire a 2010 first-round draft pick if he hopes to build a youthful yet competitive team around Amar’e Stoudemire.  While it will be nice to have a 6-10 multi-talented big man to build around, if the Suns don’t have the right pieces to make that team competitive you might as well trade him.  

Therefore, it is essential the Suns pick up a 2010 first-round draft pick.  The Thunder have apparently inquired about Robin Lopez.  Maybe they deal Ro-Lo for the Suns’ own 2010 unprotected pick.  Whatever the deal is, Kerr needs to actively pursue a 2010 first-round pick.

4. Either sign and trade Nash to NY after next season or let him walk

Amar’e and Nash have tremendous chemistry, and there is no question in my mind Nash still has three to four good years left in the tank. 

But he wants to win now, and after one more push next season, the Suns may have a few mediocre seasons on the horizon.  If he is willing to re-sign for around $7-8 million, sign me up, but it doesn’t seem like that is a possibility. Let him walk or garner a first-round pick and some young talent from New York and finally let this be STAT’s team.

5. Sign a veteran big man

The Suns do not have a lot of money to spend this offseason, but they will be able to afford a serviceable big like Chris Wilcox.  If the Suns move Lopez for a draft pick, Wilcox could sign for around $2 mil per and would fill the void down low.

If all of these tasks are accomplished and the Suns create enough cap room to sign Amar’e to a big extension, the Suns’ rosters over the next two seasons could look as follows:

2009/2010 Roster

PG – Nash/Dragic

SG – McGrady/Barbosa

SF – Earl Clark/Jared Dudley

PF – Amar’e/Lou Amundson

C – Tyson Chandler/Chris Wilcox

This team would compete next season with Nash, T-Mac and Amar’e pushing the tempo. If Sarver and his partners are willing to suffer financially for one more season, this team would surely fill the seats. They would also be able to shed a ton of salary at the season’s end. T-Mac’s $23 mil comes off the books, and Nash’s $13.1 million also comes off.

2010/2011 Roster

PG – Dragic/2010 first round pick

SG – Josh Howard/Leandro Barbosa

SF – Earl Clark/Jared Dudley

PF – Amar’e/Udonis Haslem

C – Tyson Chandler/Chris Wilcox

Although on paper it does not look like a championship/playoff team, this Suns team could easily be competitive while stockpiling draft picks for the future. 

If the Suns were to draft a PG like Sherron Collins with their 2010 pick, and sign guys like Josh Howard and Udonis Haslem with the money that they get from the expiring contracts of T-Mac and Nash, Amar’e would finally get to be “the guy” surrounded by some very talented players.  If the Suns are able to acquire NO’s 2011 first-round pick in the Chandler deal, the Suns would be set with two first-round picks in 2011.

Best-case scenario would be the Golden State trade WITH Stephen Curry.  But if that is an aberration and Amar’e truly does want to re-sign with the Suns, there is no need to give away one of the most dynamic big men in the league for role players.

If the Suns want to keep a happy Stoudemire, fill seats, and have enough youth to build for the future, than the aforementioned five things NEED to happen this offseason – or at least something similar.

Yes, the Suns would be putting off the inevitable “rebuilding process” one more season. But at least the new team would be built around a 26-year old big man rather than a 35-year old point guard.

Kerr on Xtra Sports 910

Tags: Amar'e Stoudemire Jason Richardson

  • j

    in what world are the hornets desperate enough to give you a first round pick for ben wallace's contract? the wallace chandler move only makes sense if wallace is willing to retire this year and accept a buyout of significantly less then he would make this year. the hornets are in luxry tax hell this year, but they have over 12 million dollars in expring contracts for 2010. the "hornets are desperate stuff" has just gotten way way to much traction, and has taken on a life of its own.

    why not try and do a deal where everybody wins. we send tyson to you, you send j rich to the raps, we send dwest and maybe a pick to the raps, and we get bosh. this cuts 6 million from our payroll, you get the perfect compliment to Amare, and the Raps actually get something for Bosh. A better deal then anything I have seen (2 time all star, and athletic 2 guard with range, both of which average over 20 points a game).

  • jt

    im with you definately keep stat and get chandler and lets bring back channing frye and i’d keep nash the knicks have nothing we could use

  • Marin

    There’s talk that Atlanta is looking to move Josh Smith. What would you think of a Smith for Amare swap – with others thrown in to make the salaries work.

  • Jordan

    Uh, McGrady’s probably not going to play much next year. In all reality, he’s just an expiring. Also, that trade will never happen now that Yao is potentially done for next season and beyond. J-Rich would have helped Houston win now, but, as Suns fans know, he’s not a building block for a brighter tomorrow. Getting Chandler is the first step. If he and Amar’e stay healthy, that front court could potentially rival Bynum/Gasol/Odom. What I would do, if I was able to get Chandler, is sign Artest. I would shoot for the championship this year. Artest and Chandler will make up for any defensive deficiencies that Nash and Amar’e present. Nash, J-Rich, Artest, Amar’e, Chandler, with Barbosa, Lopez, Dragic and Lou coming off the bench. That’s potentially championship caliber right there.

  • Mike Schmitz

    I agree that T-Mac will most likely not play much, but thats why we have LB. Who knows, if healthy he could be productive but most of his value is from his huge expiring contract as you said. I would love to have Artest in a Suns uni but I don’t think we can afford him if we aren’t able to move J-Rich. So first step, trade for Chandler then move J-Rich. Also I have heard the Atlanta rumors but according to most ESPN people it is all talk. I think Smith is a nice player, not Amar’e caliber but if we could snag Jeff Teague and maybe a pick I wouldn’t be opposed. Chandler Smith and Clark would be a nice front line.

  • ZonaFlash

    No way a draft pick in 2010 will be able to develop in time to help Amare in his prime…

    If Amare is going to anchor the team, the Suns need to be getting talent with a few years experience.

    Well-written article as always.

  • az2dc

    If we are really going to enter a full on rebuilding mode (dealing Amare, JRich, Nash), do you think there could be any interest in sending JRich up to Minnesota for Ricky Rubio?
    The Twolves have the cap space to make it happen and need some serious backcourt help. We would get a PG for the future and be way under the salary cap. Plus, Rubio would get serious playing time in an uptempo system in a city with better weather, which seem to be his major complaints about Minnesota.

    You could follow it up with the Amare and Nash deals and get a young, talented core with the financial flexibility to sign a star down the road.

  • Mike Schmitz

    Rubio would be ideal as an heir to Nash and a catalyst for the run-n-gun system. But, I don’t think Minnesota is willing to part with him unless they get a slew of draft picks and someone who can be a franchise player. I doubt J-rich would be the guy they are looking for, but you never know. If we brought in Rubio I would almost guarantee Amare would stick around after next season.

  • xman

    With Jefferson and Love, T-Wolves are one of the few NBA teams that seem set in the front court with good young offensive low post scorers.

    Minnesota is in rebuilding mode so why would they want JRich and his big contract and bad knees?

    Atlanta has Horford so a Josh Smith trade for Amare does not seem to make sense.

    Maybe a the Heat would be interested if a deal could be worked out where they send Beasley Suns way. Heat should be looking at the chance to make one more run with D Wade before he becomes a free agent.

  • tyson

    suns neeeeed tyson. with him in our front court, we already significantly better. i love the guy, and feel like he would personally become better as a sun. as for a big man, possibly antonio mcdyess or joe smith?

  • Kevin

    Like I have always said, if there is nothing amazing out there, DON’T TRADE AMARE!!!

  • huh What

    well, you have a few problems.

    First, don’t let Charley Grantham’s [Amare's agent] comments fool you. What he is doing is stage setting. They have both decided to set the stage for what is to come – which is bolting from the Suns. By making comments about wanting to sign, it covers Amare’s previously immature comments about leaving for the Knicks or elsewhere so that when the time comes, Amare doesn’t look like an ego tripping wanna-be-the-man jerkoff that he is and it will make the Suns look like they weren’t willing to deal. Amare has no intention of staying with Phoenix. While obtaining Chandler would be a good get, I doubt NO will take on JRich for him, as NO is already over tax and Jrich is a mil over chandlers deal. Suns are going to make a push for Odom, and will more than likely trade Amare to Sacramento, as that was a deal discussed seriously between the two teams that nobody is talking about: Amare for Thompson, Thomas’ expiring deal and either Udrih/Garcia/Nocioni… Not saying I like that deal or not, just what I have heard from Sacto.

  • Wildcat1234321

    I like your first roster, sounds like playoffs

  • Michael Schmitz

    I think you are wrong about Amar’e having no intention of staying in PHX. I have written about him wanting to jet before, but this is the team he was drafted to, he loves the city the fans and the organization. He loves Gentry as well but when the Suns began to publicly shop him he no longer felt wanted. If the Suns gave him the money there is no doubt in my mind he would sign an extension today. Also, the Chandler deal I’m talking about is Ben Wallace’s contract for Chandler not J-Rich. I would rather do J-rich if they would take on his contract but I am certain they wouldn’t. How are the Suns going to make a push for Odom? With what money? Also where are the Sacramento rumors coming from? If Amare didnt want to go to GS why would he ever consider resigning in Sac-town.

  • Kevin B

    TRADES: Amare to Warriors unlikely
    Amare Stoudemire | Suns
    Two high-placed NBA sources told the San Jose Mercury News Tuesday that Amare Stoudemire has little interest in joining the Warriors, especially with a roster he apparently feels would be depleted by the terms of the trade.
    The Warriors would want Stoudemire to sign an extension and that’s probably not going to happen.

    “That would be very difficult for me to do,” general manager Larry Riley told MediaNews Thursday about trading for a player without knowing if he would sign. “It’s a little bit outside my comfort zone, so to speak. I would have to consider very deeply what we would need to do if it were presented to us. It would be a tough deal. It would be a hard thing for me to get convinced of. I’m not saying I couldn’t be. But that would be a very difficult thing.”

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  • david baker

    the first roster sounds great and playoff bound. if that roster can happen, it will be great for the team and for the state. it will also be great for nash to plauy maybe 1 more season with amare and play with a guy like t-mac.

  • david baker

    the first roster sounds great and playoff bound. if that roster can happen, it will be great for the team and for the state. it will also be great for nash to play maybe 1 more season with amare and play with a guy like t-mac.

  • aaron

    its not whether phx wants amare. Its whether Amare wants phx. He’s that good.

  • D. Hayden

    Just don’t trade Amar’e period. You already destroyed our team when you got rid of diaw , marion and bell. The suns organization do moronic things such as not resigning Tim Thomas when he clearly displayed his worth in the playoffs that year. If they trade Amar’e I have no reasons to watch them play at all. Kerr you are truly one of a kind when it comes to messing a team up