Amar’e Stoudemire leaving was the end of an era for the Phoenix Suns, which eventually forced Steve Nash out and gave Phoenix draft picks to compensate.
The NBA is the one professional sports organization that experiences more turnover overnight than any other league.
Single transactions change the history of The Association more so than in other sports.
LeBron James leaving for Miami, Kobe Bryant falling to the Charlotte Hornets at 13, only to be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, Michael Olowokandi getting drafted ahead of Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce in 1998, and more recently, Kevin Durant leaving Oklahoma City to play for the Golden State Warriors.
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When Amar’e Stoudemire left the Phoenix Suns in 2010 for the New York Knicks, it created a domino effect, which in the end, has benefited the Phoenix Suns.
Stoudemire leaving meant the end of Steve Nash‘s chances of a title in Phoenix. With no other star go-to guy on offense, that Suns team had missed their window.
A championship was not coming anyway, and perhaps Amare knew that. Nash was turning 36 the following season, and Amar’e was nearly passed his prime as well.
Although he did follow his decision with two good seasons, averaging 25.3 and 17.5 points per game, the 2010-2011 season was the last Amar’e played over 70 games, as injuries plagued the big man.
Without Stoudemire, the Suns ended up in a rebuilding stag. They had to let Steve Nash go. Nash, not wanting to leave the Suns with nothing in free agency, was sent to the Lakers for multiple draft picks, which allowed them to get where they are today.
The Suns received two first round picks and two second round picks.
Lee was then used to get the No. 18 pick in the 2014 draft, which the Suns used to draft Tyler Ennis. The Syracuse guard Ennis was later part of the trade that sent Brandon Knight to Phoenix. The 2015 first-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers was also sent to Philadelphia 76’ers in that trade.
The other two picks, second-rounders in 2013 and 2014, Phoenix used in a few transactions. The first to grab Alex Oriakhi, who was traded (with a trade exception) for Isaiah Thomas. Thomas was then traded to the Celtics in a three-team deal that gave Phoenix the Cavaliers’ 2016 draft pick, the 28th overall, which was used in a trade to move up and get the rights to Marquese Chriss from the Sacramento Kings.
The second was used to trade for Brandan Wright, who signed a three-year deal with the Memphis Grizzlies last year.
Because Amar’e left Phoenix, Nash was traded, which has helped the Suns land Marquese Chriss, Archie Goodwin and Brandon Knight.
Sure, a few more years of Nash and Stoudemire together would have been special, but these three players, along with the abundance of youth on the Suns’ roster, has created a primordial basketball soup that will lead to a successful future.