Can the Suns afford not to trade Amare at this point?

Have the Phoenix Suns reached the point of no return in these Amare Stoudemire trade negotiations? (Darren Ito/ValleyoftheSuns)

Have the Phoenix Suns reached the point of no return in these Amare Stoudemire trade negotiations? (Darren Ito/ValleyoftheSuns)

As the Amare Stoudemire trade rumor derby approaches the final turn, there’s no telling what might happen.

Some sources would lead you to believe that the Cleveland Cavaliers are the frontrunner.

Others would tell you that the Miami Heat are making a strong late push.

Then there’s the long-held belief that the Suns desire Andre Iguodala more than any other potential piece, and thus if the Sixers step to the table willing to make that happen then they would immediately become the favorites for Amare.

There could be three-way deals to either Miami or Cleveland via Philly and Iguodala, or there could be movement from a darkhorse team like the Nets that has the assets to make a deal happen but thus far has snuck under the radar away from public scrutiny.

The one scenario that appears to be becoming less and less likely as the clock ticks down on Thursday’s trade deadline is Amare Stoudemire remaining a Phoenix Sun.

With the Suns dangling him on a stick like a piece of meat in front of frothing teams around the nation, does anybody think there’s even an inkling he’s going to want to stick around here, especially at the hometown discount it likely would have taken to get a deal done?

Amare is all about pride. I don’t think he wants a max extension for the money so much as the recognition of being a player who can command a max salary. He cares very much about his status in the league. Remember those comments he made last year about wanting to be in the same class as the LeBrons, D-Wades and Dwights of the world? And why do you think he spend so much time on viral All-Star campaigns?

Amare is a big boy, but you’ve got to think all these trade rumors have hurt his feelings. This is the third year the Suns have considered moving him. I mean, think of all that’s happened since the KG-Amare rumors went down. Isn’t it amazing the Suns didn’t want to give up a young star like STAT for a chance at a title only a few short years ago? Even with the way Garnett has broken down since then, I think most Suns fans would do that deal in hindsight now that Amare is potentially being offered for J.J. Hickson.

I’ve said all along that Kerr and Griffin have a better feel for the likelihood of Amare re-signing in Phoenix, and if they determine such a deal won’t happen then they have to just go out there and get the best deal possible, as overall regrettable as that may be.

You can roll the dice this offseason, potentially hope he opts in to get at least one more year of Amare or you can just get value while you know you can get it. I wouldn’t blame Amare for leaving the Suns for nothing at this point with the way the organization has jerked him around.

If that’s what it’s come to then it’s time to just go out and get the best deal, and that means I hope Andre Iguodala will be a Sun. I have previously discussed why Iguodala and Dalembert bring the best value, and with Miami apparently either not offering Michael Beasley or the Suns having no interest in him, it’s time for Kerr to bring another Wildcat to the desert (and no, I’m not just saying that because of my UA ties).

This deal keeps the Suns competitive in 2010 (unlike the Hickson trade), and it will make them a major player in the 2011 offseason when many of the teams with cap space now will have blown their wad. Considering the potential collective bargaining changes, that could be a great summer to have some money to spend with contracts possibly being forced to be more manageable.

It doesn’t matter if this happens via a three-way with Cleveland, a three-way with Miami or a straight deal with Philly, but unless something changes in the Amare extension camp, this is a deal that must get done.

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Tags: Amar'e Stoudemire

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