Suns Wrestle with Shaq and Stoudemire

Brent FarleyContributor IJune 2, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 15:  Shaquille O'Neal #32 of the Phoenix Suns looks on against the Golden State Warriors during an NBA game on March 15, 2009 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

After deciding Alvin Gentry was good enough to be the head coach of the Phoenix Suns, Steve Kerr looked down the barrel of his crooked gun at Shaquille O'neil and the other big man, Amare Stoudemire.

Shaquille has come off one of his best seasons, admitting he didn't think he could play as well as he did last year. With the program the strength coaches have put together for the Big Cactus, he is expecting the same results this coming year.

Amare Stoudamire, on the other hand, had his name in the headlines most of last year, regarding a trade. Stoudemire, who averaged a team-high 21.4 points in his 53 games, will earn $16 million next season. With his option for the 2010-11 season at $17.7 million, he expected to reject that and go in search of a deal that would pay him the maximum allowed under the NBA rules.

Stoudamire is looking for his first championship ring, and Shaq is looking to add to his collections in his late years. Both men have a lot to bring to a team, though the question remains: will that team be Planet Orange?

As the Suns decide what to do with their big men, one thing is solid. Two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash has been solid as a leader since rejoining the Suns. With a year left on his contract, it is expected the Suns will offer an extension, giving Nash the opportunity to end his career in Phoenix.

Will Phoenix trade Amare with a year on his contract, and start the rebuilding process early? Will Shaq find a new home before the season starts? With the rash decisions Steve Kerr has made, creating the turmoil of last year, only time can tell.