Amare Trade Rumors: Suns really want Iguodala

Suns fans spend a lot of time considering many potential Amare Stoudmire trade rumors that may or may not be just conjecture, but clearly the one involving Philadelphia and Andre Iguodala has some legs.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Suns VP of basketball operations David Griffin took in Friday’s Philly-New Orleans game in person, and I don’t think this trip had anything to do with Bourbon Street.

Furthermore, CSNPhilly.com quoted an NBA source saying, “Phoenix desperately wants Andre. They are pushing this. That I know for a fact.” Stein corroborates that by writing that the Suns appear “to be the team driving these discussions.”

It’s hard to say what exactly is posturing and what is truth, but there’s one undeniable positive out of all this talk: The Suns aren’t planning on giving Amare away for nothing. It will require serious talent for the Suns to part with STAT.

Could the Suns be floating information about this apparently intense interest in Iggy to aid their negotiations with Amare? Possibly, but I don’t really think so. The Suns and Amare have had enough time to talk that both sides know where the other side stands. Barring a major drop in price on the open market, the Suns know how much it will cost to keep Stoudemire and they have likely internally made a decision on whether they want to do that or not.

In an ideal world Amare signs an extension in the neighborhood of $15 million a year on average, but I don’t think that will happen. If that’s the case, the Suns need to deal him because they won’t have the cap space to replace him with a comparable player.

Although it would be nice to see what this Suns team could do given a full season, this team is not a championship contender, so if the Suns can find a deal that makes them arguably better in the present and certifiably better in an Amare-less future, they have to do it.

This is just my gut, but I think the Suns have decided they don’t want to build around Amare and give him a huge payday, and there are many reasons why they may have decided that, from his injury concerns to defensive/rebounding issues, and frankly you’ve got to trust them on this.

We may never know their full thinking, but so long as this has to do with legitimate concerns about his salary and future effectiveness and not just being cheap, I’m with them on this.

At that point, if this is indeed their thinking, the Suns have to go out and get the best deal possible, and I don’t see a possible deal that can come close to this one in terms of making Phoenix competitive this year and into the future.

There are a few potential iterations of an Amare for Iguodala/Dalembert basic framework. I have already discussed the salary ramifications of such a deal involving Barbosa.

The Suns could throw in Jason Richardson instead of LB if the Sixers add either Jason Kapono or Willie Green.

The Kapono deal would cost the Suns about $1.5 million this year with luxury tax considerations and would be about a wash next year if Amare opts in. After that, all involved contracts would expire except for Iguodala.

That same deal involving Green instead of Kapono would save the Suns about $3.6 million this year with luxury tax considerations and $2.5 million next year not counting potential luxury tax considerations.

However, if the Sixers want to cut salary, I doubt they would want to take on J-Rich, especially with the Green offer. I think if the Suns want to do this it will have to involve the Bar’bo’sa.

And if the Suns have decided Amare is not part of their future, they need to make this deal happen.

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Tags: Amar'e Stoudemire Andre Iguodala

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