Here we are, folks. By the time you get back from lunch tomorrow you will know whether Amare Stoudemire has played his final game as a member of the Phoenix Suns or whether he will see his shadow and we will get four more months of the “What’s going to happen with Amare?” game.
There have been enough rumors to make your head spin, from Cleveland to Miami and Philadelphia. The Cavs dropped out when the Suns reportedly told them “thanks but no thanks” earlier today and promptly dealt for Antawn Jamison to essentially make this a one-horse race (the Heat) with Philly backing off in recent days.
But the Heat and Suns have yet to match up, and unless Miami can coax somebody else into a three-way deal, Amare Stoudemire will likely remain a member of the Phoenix Suns through the season, although a darkhorse team could always slip in at the 11th hour.
According to AOL Fanhouse, we can stop talking about Amare rumors because STAT is staying in the Valley. Chris Tomasson reported that Stoudemire confirmed to him that he won’t be moved after speaking with Suns owner Robert Sarver following Wednesday’s loss in Dallas, a game in which Amare went for 30 and 14 in a 10-point loss to Dallas.
“I think I’m pretty much safe,” Stoudemire told FanHouse. “I feel good. But either way I was going to feel all right.”
That goes against speculation that Amare would be unhappy if he wasn’t dealt, but I’ve always felt he would be OK because he genuinely likes his teammates and his on-court situation with the Suns, even if he would like a contract extension and not to be jerked around in trade rumors every five minutes. I think Amare will give the Suns a great second half, and then we’ll do this all again in June. Hooray for blog traffic!
At the same time, I would not be surprised if something comes together at the last second. There have been so many twists and turns in this saga that I won’t believe Amare is a Sun until June before the clock strikes 1 on Thursday afternoon.
At this point I just want the Suns to be smart, which is really what Schmitz and I have been writing since the Amare trade rumors of last June. If there’s a good deal to be had then pull the trigger, but if there isn’t, then you have to pass.
I’m glad the Suns declined Cleveland’s offer because I’m not sure if that deal even provides 50 cents on the dollar. Especially with Oklahoma City owning the Suns’ lottery pick, there’s no reason to do a tank job and play for this summer.
In the FanHouse article, Amare reiterates his interest in exercising his $17.7 million option and overall sounds positive about a potential future in Phoenix. He could exercise the option, he could be involved in a sign-and-trade or — believe it or not — he could be extended at a reasonable figure. Sure, you risk losing him for nothing and that’s a grand risk to take, but there are still positive options on the table here.
In about 13 hours, we will have all the answers we can get before June. Until then enjoy your final moments with ESPN’s Trade Machine before you have to put it away for the season.