Breaking Down the Insanity Behind Amar'e Stoudemire for Josh Smith Rumors

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterFebruary 20, 2013

Apr 22, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks power forward Josh Smith (5) shoots over New York Knicks power forward Amare Stoudemire (1) during the first half at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports
Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

There are NBA trade rumors, and there are dreams.

And then there are ideas that are tossed in the air like a pizza dough, with hopes of it landing on the plate freshly baked and extra crispy.

Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld wrote about a possible deal that could send Amar'e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Josh Smith.

Now, we're not questioning Kennedy's reporting. We're questioning the source of the rumor and if it was leaked with an ulterior motive in mind.

And there's no doubt that teams intentionally do this. In fact, George Karl just recently admitted this was something he's done before.

By making it seem like the Atlanta Hawks are contemplating this deal, New York is attempting to increase Amar'e's perceived trade value, which in fact is far different from his true trade value.

It's kind of like Inception—extracting the initial idea that Stoudemire still has two years and approximately $45 million remaining on his contract, uninsured knees and a career that peaked in 2010 and replacing it with the idea that he's still on the level with a star like Josh Smith in his prime.

You listening, Leo? I'd watch a sequel involving the NBA trade deadline.

There's just no way Atlanta can share genuine interest in a deal like this.

The Hawks have been in salary-shed mode since the summer. Remember when they traded Joe Johnson for Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro and Anthony Morrow? It wasn't because they liked them. Atlanta was looking for someone else to take on Johnson's contract, even if it meant getting nothing in return but a draft pick and expiring deals.

The reason that Josh Smith is on the block in the first place is because the Hawks don't want to pay him max dollars this summer. Somehow I find it hard to believe they'd pay the big bucks for Stoudemire at age 30 and not Josh Smith at age 27.

Iman Shumpert at this point no longer matters. By acquiring Amar'e, it would just limit the team's cap flexibility moving forward and reduce its chances of signing significant free agents.

Whether you like Amar'e Stoudemire or not, and I'm one of those that do, you can't argue the fact that his contract is up there with some of the most unattractive in sports.

Amar'e will be making more money over the next two years than LeBron James. And with uninsured knees, the weight of his contract only feels heavier.

It's just not something you want to acquire unless it makes you an immediate contender.

The best advice I can give Knick fans is to ignore any rumors involving Amar'e Stoudemire. It's not a knock on the player, it's a knock on the contract. And it's one that nobody wants any part of, especially if they're forced to give up an asset in the process.