Amare Trade Rumors: Time running out

With just over a day left in the STAT sweepstakes, these two big men could be trading places in a matter of hours.

The last couple of months filled with rumors, speculation and hypothetical trades from the ESPN Trade Machine all come down to this final 24 hours before the Feb. 18, 1 p.m. MST trade deadline. The questions remain:

Where will Amare Stoudemire go? Is the Cavaliers trade a joke? Are the 76ers still in the running? Can Miami bring in a third team? Will Amare even go anywhere? Can the Suns afford not to give him up?

After Phoenix’s convincing win over the Memphis Grizzlies last night, Paul Coro wrote that the visitors’ locker room in Memphis had a very strange feeling.

“In that same room,” Coro wrote, “there was also a feeling that Stoudemire might not play for the Suns Wednesday night in Dallas.”

With the Amare Stoudemire trade rumors coming as hard as ever, the big man can’t help but think about his potential destinations.

STAT must be salivating over the idea of teaming with LeBron James and Shaq or heading to South Beach to play the role of Dwyane Wade’s sidekick.

In fact, Yahoo! Sports had this to say about the situation:

Amar’e Stoudemire and the Phoenix Suns are no longer discussing a contract extension, and the All-Star forward was privately telling friends that he believes he’s played his last game in a Suns uniform on Wednesday night in Dallas, sources said.

The report also said that Steve Kerr and STAT’s agent, Happy Walters, were “far apart in talks” and that a trade is the most likely scenario.

The ball is in Phoenix’s court in many instances, which is actually a pretty scary thought with Steve Kerr at the helm. Will he once again pull the trigger on a questionable deadline-deal a la Shaq/Marion, or will he stand pat like he did with STAT this summer?

Sources continue to say Miami is pushing hard, but all of the news is about the Cleveland Cavaliers at this point. Chris Broussard reported that the Cavs are waiting on the Suns to decide if they will pull the trigger on an Amare for J.J. Hickson, Zydrunas Ilgauskus and first-round pick trade. If it were me, I scoff at the offer and move on. But whether or not you make the deal is contingent on how positive the Suns are that Amare will jettison and opt out this summer, and that is seeming to be the most likely scenario.

Steve Kerr’s friendship with Danny Ferry certainly scares me into believing that this trade could actually come to fruition, and according to Broussard , STAT is the Cavs’ No. 1 target. League sources denied the notion that the Cavs had a concrete offer on the table for the Wizards’ Antawn Jamison, as they continue to wait on the Suns’ decision on Stoudemire.

Broussard also reports that the Suns have basically been shopping the Cavs’ trade around to the rest of the league, asking if anyone is willing to up the ante and offer a more desirable deal. Miami has tried to bring in a third team in Charlotte, but the Bobcats can’t offer anything to the Suns’ liking.

J.A. Adande reported last night that according to an NBA source, the Heat are offering Mario Chalmers, Quentin Richardson, Daequan Cook, Dorell Wright and draft picks for STAT. Ummm, no thank you. No Beasley, no deal. The Heat have expressed a slight willingness to take on Jason Richardson’s contract, and if Miami added Jermaine O’Neal’s $23 million expiring contract to the deal, both sides could certainly make the numbers work.

But that would be shipping out Amare for pure financial relief, which in my eyes would be one of the biggest mistakes in Phoenix Suns franchise history.

The Amare sweepstakes is now seemingly a three-horse race, with Cleveland in the lead, Miami trying its best to get some help and make up some ground, and Philadelphia in the back as the sleeper team.

The only problem is, the team that is most serious about the deal probably has the worst to offer. To deal Amare, you have to get back a player that is either ready to contribute near an All-Star level, or someone who will unquestionably reach that status in a matter of years. I’m sorry, but J.J. Hickson is not that guy. The upside is there and fans in Cleveland seem to love him, but the fact that they are screaming for Amare has to say something.

He may become a serviceable big man, but I really don’t see him being better than a Brandon Bass type, with a little more athleticism.

At least with a Sixers deal, you get Andre Igoudala, who has proven himself in the league and would bring freakish athleticism to the wing spot, along with defense on the perimeter. How lockdown would this unit be after Jason Richardson and Dalembert expire: Dragic-Iguodala-Dudley-Clark-Lopez? Add in some free agents in 2011 and you have yourself a team.

But that ship seems to have sailed, with Philly reluctant to give up Iguodala. Miami, however, is still pushing hard, and Mark Stein reported that the Suns are actually OK with taking back Beasley. But Beasley hasn’t been rumored in any deals as of late, raising questions as to whether or not the Heat are willing to part ways with their former No. 2 overall pick, or whether the Suns aren’t sold on the K-State product.

We are in the home stretch of the Amare Stoudemire trade deadline sweepstakes. As it stands, the Suns will mull over the Cleveland deal until the last second, the Heat will try to make one final push (with what parts is left to be seen), and the Sixers may take one more stab, but it is unlikely at this point.

I don’t see Kerr making the Cleveland deal as it stands, but if the consensus within the organization is that Amare is gone after this season (which is what it looks like), with the inconsistency that this team has shown all season, the Suns may have no other option. Either ride this team out for the rest of the season as it stands and see where they finish, or take the best deal possible and be thankful that you at least got something for Amare.

The latter seems more likely at this point, but for the sake of the franchise, let’s just hope that Hickson, Ilgauskas and picks and spare parts isn’t the best deal when 1 p.m. rolls around tomorrow.

UPDATE: Amare’s agent thinks he will be dealt

According to ESPN, Amare Stoudemire’s agent Happy Walters told The Associated Press today that he expects STAT to be dealt by tomorrow’s trade deadline. Walters said that it isn’t logical for the Suns not to deal Amare, as he will most likely leave for free agency after the season.

“We’re not that far apart,” Walters said of contract negotiations between Stoudemire and the Suns that reportedly came to a halt last weekend, “but I think they’ve decided to go in another direction.”

He also said that Stoudemire thinks that tonight’s game against the Dallas Mavericks will be his last in a Phoenix Suns uniform.

“It’s going to be emotional,” Walters said. “… He really does love the team and he knows he’s playing with one of the best point guards ever.”

UPDATE:  Miami not impressing Phoenix

ESPN’s Chad Ford reported this afternoon that the Cavaliers are still the frontrunner in the Amare sweepstakes and are waiting for the Suns to respond to their offer. The Miami Heat have left the Suns unimpressed with their offers, as they still haven’t dangled Michael Beasley or either of their two first-round picks in any deal. However, according to a source, the Heat are the only team the Suns have given permission to talk to STAT’s agent.

A Suns source told this to ESPN:

“I’m not sure Miami is willing to pay the price for Amare. We have to get something for him. We’re not giving him away. If Miami gets serious, then I think they would get him. But right now, they are not showing they’re serious.”

The same source said that there is a possibility Amare could stay put, as the Suns “haven’t been blown away with an offer yet.”

  • Amare Stoudimire tra

    Come on home Amare, your ring is waiting!

  • Gold Star for Robot

    The closer we come to the deadline, the more I think the Suns will shock everyone and stand pat. The offers coming in simply aren't good enough*.

    *-Opinion null and void if Philly decides it can part with Iggy.

  • King Fahd

    During an interview with NBA tv, last night following the Suns/Grizzlies game, Amar'e was sporting a Memphis basketball sweatshirt. lol. Looks like we are going to the Stone Ages. Are we destined to bring a title in the Valley, if we continue to be so cheap, and display disrespect to key players on the team?

  • fhah

    I will fucking piss on you Steve Kerr if you trade amare for shithead hixson. Are you retarded? You fucking doing those guys a favor! Don’t give shithead Cleveland bitches a championship for free. Those pussy asses are two scared to give up any relevant pieces in other positions. fuck them and fuck pat riley for not even including beasley. I wouldn’t do a trade with any of these team even if they gave something up. Ingohdalla is an ok trade if it doesn’t include barbosa. barbosa is too good, he is just injured this season. Last season he was a rising star. Get rid of fucking richardson. Big man = championship. You got to be the one calling the shots and go for a championship. Quit being a bitch Steve Kerr. Grow some brains and balls.

  • Ice

    If the Suns trade Amare, they need to trade Nash and Hill. They stayed with the promise that the team would compete. I for one will stop being a die hard Suns fan, cancel my season tickets, and never watch the Suns again until Sarver sells the team (so like 3-5 years at this rate). It's like I've been forced to watch a Majerle for Hot Rod Williams trade every year that he's been the owner.

    The fact of the matter is that Amare isn't going to opt out. He can't afford it. No team will pay him anywhere near what he thinks he's worth. Just like Marion was better off with the Suns, so is Amare. he knows this, he won't engender a fan base in another city like the one he has here with his pathetic defense and lack of a post-up game. Oh yeah, and he has a lot of miles on double operated on knees. The Suns should offer him a 4 year extension at $63million including his next season at 17,15,15,15 per year. I don't think anyone would say that it's an unfair contract.

  • Soon to be former Su

    Amares agent Happy Walters, regarding a contract extension, who says he believes Amare will be traded before tomorrows deadline:

    "We're not that far apart," he said, "but I think they've decided to go in another direction."


  • Soon to be former Su


  • Zane

    Man, I hope we keep Amare. I'm getting f'ing scared that this bs trade will go through. KEEP AMARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Zane


  • Justin B.

    This is going to be a highly misunderstood move, no matter what happens. The Suns front office did themselves no favors by holding onto Amare at least year’s trade deadline. Amare gained all the leverage once they did that.

    In my view, there’s no turning back — the Suns have to trade Amare Stoudemire. What’s the alternative now? They’ve basically ruled out signing an extension. Even if it comes down to just the Cleveland trade. Is Hickson, a low first-round pick, and cap space better than just cap space if Amare just walks? I’d say so. Yes, it’s going to piss off a lot of fans, but everything at this point is going to piss off some fans. If they max out Amare, that’ll upset people. If they trade Amare, that’ll upset people. If they let him walk and they’re left with nothing, that’ll upset people.

    Kerr and Sarver are in “cut their losses and run” mode now, unfortunately. We can say “We have pride, don’t trade Amare for Cleveland’s crap!” but that only goes so far, until you realize this summer that you still have no draft pick and also no young rotation player to show for it.

  • Ryan

    Keep in mind that the Z+Hickson trade would be entirely about money.

    Z’s contract is structured in a way such that most of it was paid up front, which saves the Suns 10 to 12 million dollars (not only in terms of salary, but luxury tax).

    Miami can offer more talent in a contract for contract trade, but they simply cannot offer the immediate cap relief of a deal with Cleveland.

    It comes down to how bad the Suns are hurting, financially, and how desperate Sarver is.

  • Ryan

    And that’s assuming the Suns *don’t* reach a buyout with Ilgauskas. If he’s bought out (for less money, which would enable him to return to Cleveland), the Suns stand to save upwards of $15 million, luxury tax included.

  • Amare Stoudimire traded to Cleveland Cavaliers

    Yes! Amare and Z. Strong move for the Cavs!

  • Jeff D

    Sure any move the Suns make with Amare will upset the fan base. But the real question should be which part of the fan base do they choose to upset. Sarver is supposed to be a financial guy, right? If the Suns trade Amare for Hickson or for a salary dump, the part of the fan base that will be upset are the ones who buy season tickets. My family and friends are long-time season ticket holders (30+ years) and have been steadily been getting more upset at every bonehead trade that this management team had made. Dumping Amare would be the last straw. How much of a hit would Sarver take on loss of revenue versus reduced salaries/no luxury tax? Maybe that’s something that Sarver needs to think about.

  • Peter

    You write with respect to Hickson: “The upside is there, fans in Cleveland seem to love him, but the fact that they are screaming for Amare has to say something.”

    We love him because there seems to be such a great upside. He’s 21, he’s a stupendous athlete, and he really seems to have made great strides this year. If he develops a jump shot (and why shouldn’t he be able to?), he seems a likely all-star by age 24 or 25

    Why are we screaming nevertheless for Amare? Because he IS an all-star, LeBron is 27, and why wait 3-4 years when the future is now and the next 3-4 years (even if LeBron stays).

    On the other hand, is Phoenix interested in now or 3-4 years from now? It seems the latter from up here in the frozen Great Lakes region.

    Trading J.J. for Troy Murphy, on the other hand, would likely drive Clevelanders nuts. You don’t give up that upside for a role player.

  • CavsFan

    “I’m sorry, but JJ Hickson is not that guy. The upside is there, fans in Cleveland seem to love him, but the fact that they are screaming for Amare has to say something.”

    Screaming for Amare because he is better player NOW, we need a champ NOW and another high profile player to keep Lebron NOW….

    I love watching JJ play and he has a HUGE upside, as a CAVS fan I hate to see him go but for Amare…. no brainer….

  • Hornacek14

    Fire Steve Kerr!! The guy has done nothing except make this team worse ever year. Why couldn’t we get a guy like Ainge who turned the Celtics into a champion in just over a year. What Kerr has done as GM is a disgrace. At this point they have no direction and as far as a winning team…. Its gonna be a long time. I have been following the suns since the late 80′s and things havent been this bad in a long time. Hey i heard on TNT the other night, that Barkley is looking to GM,, Thats the kind of guy we need to get stuff done. I hate seeing Kerr in the crowd smiling and laughing with friends, the guys a joke, Arizona native or not.

  • Kerr is a Clown
  • Jake

    I agree. JJ Hickson ‘will be’ nothing better than a Brandon Bass type of player. Cavs trade is ridiculous. I’d rather get Jermaine O’neal’s $23 million expiring contract for J-Rich and Amare and try to get Bosh this summer. lol.

  • kdogg

    whatever the situation my be… I think the suns are not going no where. I love the suns.. It sucks to see what has become of them since Kerr took charge of alot. I liked Kerr when he played even though he played with great players.. “Jordan” It is disheartening to see a loss by a lil misfortune turn to losing by missing one to losing by trading that one. Then to lose by trying to find someone then to lose by trying to trade another one.. Now get ready to lose by trading the one again.. No more Johnson, No more Marion, no more Bell, there might be no more Amare, then there will be no more Nash.. But Sarver will have his financial relief and Kerr will move to a different team.. GOOD JOB PLANET ORANGE>>.. This is hard to handle for fans and the city of Phoenix.

  • brent d

    we want amare.. look phoenix gets z, whos jumper drains like water and hickson is a rising star with much upside.. iv seen jj play live many times this year. the more time he gets to play the better he will get. pheonix trade to cleveland and u will b happy with the results. z is solid and hickson is promising.. DONT TRADE HIM AND GET NOTHING. TRADE ELSEWHERE N GET PLAYERS WHO R ON THE BACK END OF THEIR CAREER. I REALIZE Z IS OLDER BUT HIS JUMPER IS FLUID. UR RING IS WAITING AMARE. IF NOT WE WILL GET JAMESON TO PUT THE RING ON..

  • Roadster sl

    Haha, one thing for sure, Kerr will make the wrong deal…..he really is a terrible GM. Get good defensive players, a top rebounder and draft picks, PHX has enough scoring ability even without Amare, they will just have to shave 6 or 7 points per game off the opponent’s average score….DEFENSE…DEFENSE!

  • $-TheMoneyman-$

    At this point I say hold on to A’m’a’r’e. I for one think he is horrendously overrated and will go the way of Marion without Nash spoonfeeding him the ball on pick and rolls or setting him up for wide open jumpshots. Besides, trading him will only cause the overflowing bandwagon of fair-weather Cleveland fans to collectively jizz in their pants as they masturbate to the thought of the Larry O’Brien trophy, and they’re insufferable enough as it is, second only to Lakers fans.

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  • Jesse

    Trade Amare for Boris Diaw! LOL!!!! Suns have not been the same since the Colangelo days!

  • Jesse

    Joking of course about the Diaw trade. But Suns do need to get something thats equal to Amares talent and take nothing less.

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