It seems that the Suns have been openly shopping Amare Stoudemire for a while now. Some reports also suggests that the Suns are willing to take expiring contracts and future draft picks for the four-time All-Star. This shows that Phoenix is looking to sell and many GMs around the league would be looking to get a bargain deal.
The real problem is not Stoudemire. It is the Suns management, namely Steve Kerr to unsuccessfully implement the defensive philosophy into the team. The Suns were averaging 110 ppg, topping the league in offense for the past couple of seasons.
By slowing the Suns down to 100 ppg this season, they are not winning as many games so far and the players’ confidence has been drained in the process.
No one will argue that defense wins championships, but before the previous playoff suspensions of Stoudemire and Diaw with Nash being pushed to the floor by Robert Horry in game 4 of 2007, they always looked like a team that have a shot at winning the Championship simply on offense.
The Suns are understandably looking for draft picks to build their future around. The owner is looking to avoid the luxury tax threshold so there is no reason to expect the Suns are going to get someone that is of equal value in the trade.
Bosh for Amar’e is the Suns’ best option but it is hard to imagine Stoudamire re-signing with the Raptors if they are not serious contenders by 2010 and I wouldn’t think the Raptors are going to pull the trigger simply because Bosh is a better defensive player and they wouldn’t be getting a better deal.
Trying to turn the Phoenix Suns into a defensive oriented team without a well thought-out plan was a huge mistake. The Suns are not going to be an 80-90 ppg team just because the management thinks that is a good idea.
The Suns are only effective when they are scoring 105-110ppg simply because the roster is full of offensive weapons with defensive deficiencies and it has been like that since Mike D took over the team.
For the past few years, the Suns overcame these deficiencies by running and gunning their opponents out of the building for 48 minutes. Defense was not really a priority but that didn’t matter since they were winning.
The Suns mortgaged their future and sold their soul in the Shaq for Marion trade and they are paying for the mistake. Shaq at 36 years old is definitely playing at an All-Star level but at the same time with Shaq in the team, it is taking away the style of offense that Nash and Stoudemire are accustomed to for the past few years.
In doing so, their All-Star numbers are dropping off. Now that things are not working, Kerr wants to trade the Suns’ franchise player for some draft picks. If that is not bad management, I don’t know what is. Simple solution, fire Kerr, bring Shaq in as the sixth man, and re-sign Stoudemire in 2010.