Amare Stoudemire Trade Rumors: Is Miami the most likely destination if the Suns trade Amare?

With less than a week remaining before the Feb. 18 NBA trade deadline, the Amare Stoudemire trade rumors are about to enter the calm before the final storm.

Nothing is going to happen the next three days as the league convenes in Dallas for All-Star Weekend, but next week Suns fans would be wise to stay within ear shot of their favorite sports new service because word of an Amare blockbuster could break at any moment.

Could Wednesday’s listless effort against the Blazers be the final impetus the Suns need to make a deal? Perhaps, but more so because it would be awfully tough to trade the starting center for the West All-Stars coming off a six-game winning streak than anything that happened from that one game, as bad as it was.

If you were to ask me right this second, I would say I believe Amare Stoudemire will take the floor at US Airways Center as a member of the Phoenix Suns next Friday when the Hawks come to town in the first game after the deadline, but at the same time I’m ready for anything. And if anything happens, I expect it to either be with Philly or Miami.

Those are the only two teams that appear interested in making a serious offer that actually have the pieces to put such a deal together. I have already written at length about why an Amare trade to Philly for Andre Iguodala and Samuel Dalembert could make some sense for the Suns.

How would Michael Beasley look in a Suns uni? (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

How would Michael Beasley look in a Suns uni? (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

In any Miami talks, if Steve Kerr isn’t already skittish from what happened the last time he dealt with Pat Riley and Co., he should not even begin to exchange names before the Heat agree to include former No 2 overall pick Michael Beasley in the deal.

The consensus on Wednesday’s Daily Dime Live chat was that the Heat should not throw Beasley in such a trade when they could potentially be the favorites to sign Amare in a few months anyway if he opts out, and from a Miami perspective I agree. But from a Suns perspective, no Amare deal can happen without him.

Beasley is a 6-foot-10 future star averaging 15.5 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per contest. He can shoot it and drive it with proficiency, but his defense is not exactly a plus at the NBA level at this point. Coming out of college, I liked him over Derrick Rose after he put up a beastly 26.2-12.4 and for my money was the best player in college basketball as a freshman. The guy is only 21 and could one day be better than Amare, starting with a salary under $5 million next season.

The Suns need a young stud and they need a big to make any Amare deal worth their while, and Beasley fits the bill in both departments better than any other potential Stoudemire trade acquisition.

The biggest question mark with Beasley is where his head is at, especially after he told The Miami Herald, “If they decide to trade me, I don’t want to go. Amare’s a great player, so you understand whatever happens. You understand that it’s a business. You just have to focus on your job.”

I feel like that’s just Beasley’s immaturity speaking and that the first time he’s on the receiving end of a Steve Nash assist he would change his tune.

A league source told Yahoo! Sports that “nobody is pushing harder on this than Riley,” with practically Miami’s entire roster in play aside from Dwyane Wade, including their likely mid-first-rounder this season. With practically the whole team expiring, there are a number of combinations that could work.

ESPN’s John Hollinger (Insider) explains why Miami might be willing give up a major young asset (with a $5 million contract next season) in Beasley for the questionable future surrounding Amare:

Additionally, there are two different angles that make such a deal intriguing. First, let’s say the Heat trade Beasley for Stoudemire, who then opts in to his $17 million deal for next year. If the Heat can find somebody to take [Daequan] Cook’s $2.1 million deal off their hands at the trade deadline, they would have enough cap space to sign another free agent starting in the $10 million to $12 million range to join Wade and Stoudemire. Maybe that’s not enough to get LeBron or Chris Bosh, but it could bag them the likes of Rudy Gay, David Lee or Carlos Boozer. Plus, the addition of Stoudemire would likely take the doomsday scenario of Wade’s potential departure off the table.

If the Heat acquire Stoudemire and he opts out, that adds risk for Miami but also might be even better. The Heat could offer Stoudemire a long-term deal for less than the max and still make the case to him that he would come out ahead financially, both in terms of security and the total dollars, since he could get six years with the Heat on the open market as opposed to only three years if the Heat gave him a contract extension.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s Chad Ford (Insider) concocts this hairy three-team Amare trade:

Miami gets: Amare Stoudemire (from Phoenix), Acie Law (from Charlotte), Stephen Graham (from Charlotte), Ronald Murray (from Charlotte)

Phoenix gets: Michael Beasley (from Miami), D.J. Augustin (from Charlotte), James Jones (from Miami), Dorell Wright (from Miami)

Charlotte gets: Udonis Haslem (from Miami), Daequan Cook (from Miami)

That’s a much better haul than I’ve ever thought the Suns could get: a potentially great young big, a quality young former lottery pick point guard and a couple solid role players with expiring/semi-expiring contracts. That trade makes some sense for Miami by netting them Amare and getting rid of Cook’s contract and Charlotte via their acquisition of a big in Haslem, but I just don’t see the three teams coming together on that. It’s also noteworthy that Hollinger’s analysis on Trade Machine makes every team worse as a result.

There is sure to be lots of talk in the next week, but I have a feeling we’ll still be debating the “What should the Suns do with Amare?” question come summertime.

Gentry on Amare

Suns head coach Alvin Gentry spoke about Amare before Wednesday’s game against Portland. Here are a few of the highlights:

On the trade talk: Obviously it affected him some, all the things that were said, and it would affect anybody in this room, guys, to see your name in the newspaper or on TV every day about being traded, being traded, and I think it did have a little bit of an effect on him. Then I think what happened is by going on the road it just wasn’t so in your face right then, so I think he was able to put it behind him, and now he’s been focused in. Every game on that trip he played real well. Not just the offensive part of it, I thought he did a good job of being engaged defensively. I just thought he was playing really good, solid basketball.”

On Amare’s defense: “I said to him, ‘If you want to be mentioned in the same breath as Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, LeBron and those guys, the one thing that they’ve done is all of those guys have been on the All-Defensive team. If you want to be in the same breath as those guys …’ That whole complete player thing involves being able to guard your position in this league, and I think that’s the one thing he can try to get better at, and I think that’s what he’s working to get better at. He’s a lot better now than he was a year ago or two years ago. That being said, obviously he’s still got to make a huge leap, but he’s working at it.”

Tags: Amar'e Stoudemire Michael Beasley

  • Mike Meez

    If we are going to trade Amare, the deal with Miami is the way to go. I think Beasley is already as good a defender and rebounder as Amare and his offensive game isn’t that far behind. He’s already made a lot of progress in his sophomore season. He’s cheaper (for now) and could be a key part of a rebuilding effort. Throughout the year, ESPN (I believe Hollinger specifically) has ranked the Suns toward the bottom of the league for future potential. However, things have changed with the emergence of Dragon, Lopez, and Dudley. Add Beasley to that mix and you have four young, solid guys to build a team around in the post-Nash era. A couple good draft picks and a couple years of development and I see a bright future for the Suns. Until then, I will enjoy watching Nash run one of the most beautiful offenses the league has ever seen. I don’t think we’ll see anything like it for a long time once he retires.

  • Big Ben Parliment

    Two comments:

    ESPN rumor guys like Ford are NBA snoops that know nothing about the sport of basketball. Hollinger is nothing more than a statistical guru. He said Augustin would be a young PG to groom behind Nash. Dragic is already being groomed and providing valuable minutes behind Nash. Like most NBA analysts he probably has no idea who Dragic is. NBA scouts sure know who Goran is.

    Another thing, Beasley would get abused and overpowered by the bigs in the Western Conference. HE IS NOT 6'10"! He is 6'8" with shoes, and probably less than 235. ESPN needs to fix height and weight of many players.

  • asani

    Beasley is too inconsistent so the suns don’t need another guy like that we have one who wears the number 23 on the suns

  • Dave

    Trade J-Rich for Marion!!!! I want Marion back on the team!!!

  • Michael Schwartz

    @JED, on the offensive end, sure, there was nothing listless about his game. But defensively? I would beg to differ. Your points about Beasley's D and rebounding are duly noted, though.

  • Roadster sl

    Amare can probably get better but probably not with the Suns and they may loose the value he represents altogether after the next year. That creates a dilemma for the Suns’ management. I would try to convince Amare to stay one more year after this one, making a move for the conference titel/championship this year and next year. This will require strenthening defense and rebounding while Lopez, Dragic, Dudley and Clark further develop. In my view it makes more sense getting rid of JRich and Frye but my guess is there are not many takers out there for a SG that shoots under .400 and has two years left on a big contract unless you take someone heavy back. Just one thing…if you trade Amare just make sure you loose JRich in the same deal so you can free some cap space and get a couple of good free agents.

  • David

    Beasley is only 21 years old. Of course he’s going to get beat up in the post a bit by the likes of Gasol, for now.

    He’s only going to get stronger as he matures, though.

    As for his weight he weighed in at 239 at the draft combine and reports out of Miami say he’s definitely gained muscle since he was drafted. They believe he has plenty of room in his frame to fill out more.

  • JED

    Beg to differ if you want. Unless this that just another of those generalizations you like to rely on, provide some specific examples where Stoudemire was "listless" or. In this game, I watched Stoudemire perform well on the perimeter switches and he did a fairly credible straight up on Aldridge. Aldridge had an excellent shooting night, but that was not because he was not well defended. Very few of Aldridge's points were scored because he beat his defender. While it cannot always be said that he does, Stoudemire actually brought defensive energy in this game.

    On a separate subject a Philly – Phx trade that would send Stoudemire for Igoudala and Dalembert would cripple the Suns for the foreseeable future. Barring another trade, the Suns would have invested $33MM in the off-guard position fand have a hole at power forward.

    As a U of A alum, I like Igoudala , but his $56 MM contract commitment after would be an albatross for the Suns. This franchise cannot make such a commitment for player that cannot be described as an all-star.

    Statistically, Igoudala does not bring anything more to the table than Jason Richardson. Their scoring is about the same, rebounding is the same, bit it takes Igoudala about 9 more minutes a game to achieve these numbers. Iggy has more assists, but he handles the ball more in the 76's scheme as the 76ers lack anyone that can be considered a legitimate point guard. He is not the shooter Richardson is, but he is a better defensive player. Dalembert would be a $12 MM one-dimensional syphon of minutes from Lopez

    Again, this appears to be another vacuous analysis.

  • JED

    Did the writer of this blog actually see the Phoenix – Portland game? The only two effective players Phoenix had on the floor were Amare and Nash. There was nothing listless about Amare’s play in this game.

    I find it very amusing that bloggers such as this one, passes off tired old cliches and superficial analysis in coming to his conclusions.

    When you actually compare Amare and Beasley at similar stages in their career – there is no comparison. As a 2nd year player (both are about the same age during their 2nd year), Amare averaged 5 more points and 2.5 more rebounds, shot a higher percentage and had more blocks. The main difference between them is that Amare is a PF/C while Beasley is a PF/SF. They really play a different game. I think Beasley would thrive in the Western Conf, but as a small forward – not a power forward.

    Beasley is small and light for a power forward in the Western Conference. He can occasionally handle the PFs in the Western Conf, but a steady diet of bigger, stronger, and more physical power forwards such as Randolph, Duncan, Dirk, Gasol, Boozer, Jefferson, Martin, etc… would physically wear him down.

    Beasley is a mediocre rebounder (about 7/game vs 9/game for Amare). He is a superior athlete and a decent ballhandler, but he is one of the worst defenders I have seen in the 40 + years I have watched NBA basketball. These deficiencies are so severe, that Haslem, as opposed to Beasley plays during crucial times in most games.

    Finally, unlike Amare, Beasley also appears to have some character issues.

    This is not to say I dislike Beasley, I think he can develop in to a very good player if he is in the right place. I do not think that place is Phoenix and not at the expense of Stoudemire.

  • Andrew

    Sarver is such a loser. If we had LeBron or DWade it would be the same issue. It is not that Amare is not a good defender or good enough rebounder. Sarver just does not want to pony up the dough in general. Don't you think there is a reason Kerr has not offered Amare an extension? Sarver's worst fear is Amare accepting the contract. Why do you think Miami is the main suitor or Cleveland? Because in either scenario Amare would be traded and either Ilguska's or Jermaine Oneals contract would expire and we would have a faaaaaaaaar more cheaper PF in Hickson or Beasley. Don't kid yourself if we were paying two million for Hickson next year we would not spend Amare's money on a premier free agent. Sarver would probably sign someone for the veterans minimum or mid level exception at most. Some washed up star that has a decent name to try and fool us. I can see it now "Suns sign Antonio McDyess to for 1 year 2 million dollar option with a player option in 2o11 to condition Hickson to be a premier PF." What a joke. Collangelo we miss you dearly. Sarver would not sign Barkley to max in his prime.

  • Jake

    I know Steve Kerr doensn’t have a gut to trade Amare after his miserable trades which turned out to be all failure. This is the last year of his contract, as I know, and he doesn’t want to see the suns fail to make a playoff in two consecutive seasons.

    With this squad, suns still look to be able to make a playoff in very competitive western conference. But after trading Amare for whoever it will be, he knows suns will not be a better team than now. That’s why he is so hesitant to trade Amare for young guys (iggy or Beasly or whoever) whom the media assumes to be suns’ future, which I don’t agree.

    It is all because of one stupid guy, Robert Sarver. He just don’t use his money for Amare in this year and the next year and maybe forever.

    I believe they won’t trade Amare this year with conditional agreement that Amare will opt in. And next year, we will hear more stories and trade rumors about Amare again. Hate it!!!!

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  • I-Win

    I’m a Heat fan and JED with post #6 hit that nail right on the head. I’m one of the few Heat fans that is disappointed with Beasley. I was willing to forgo that he has no NBA position if his talent can overcome that obstacle, but he only focuses on looking to score and it’s average at best when his jumper isn’t falling (which is an often occurrence).

    If it wasn’t for Amare’s injury history, I would say this deal is a no-brainer for the Heat. But since injury history matters, I think the Heat have to seriously consider a deal (or not include a 1st rounder + Dorell Wright).

    I’d still be happy to land Amare-for-Beasley and filler.

  • Javi

    Ive been a Heat Fan since 95-96 , and this is the only trade that i dont wan’t the Heat To make . You’re letting go of a future 20 ppg 12 reb ,3 point shotting PF , for a player that has multiple injuries and is not a great rebounder or team player and only has 3 or 4 years left in him…SO Pat Plz think about it don’t do it and lets go after Bosh this summer ..B-easy is going to be An allstar mark my woirds….

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