Apparently Shaq was the first domino to fall for the Phoenix Suns this summer.
The Houston Rockets are reportedly "leaning toward" accepting a trade with the Phoenix Suns that would bring All-Star forward Amar'e Stoudemire and Leandro Barbosa to Houston in exchange for Tracy McGrady, Carl Landry, and Aaron Brooks.
Stoudemire's name has come up in trade rumors for months now, and it appears as though GM Steve Kerr has finally initiated the rebuilding process.
Pairing Stoudemire with Yao Ming up front instantly gives the Rockets the most formidable front line in the entire league. Like Yao, Stoudemire has the ability to step out and knock down a jumper from 15 and shoots over 80 percent from the free throw line.
Amar'e also brings the athleticism up front that the Rockets have so sorely lacked with Yao and Luis Scola. Stoudemire is proficient at scoring on the low block and is one of the most dominating finishers in the entire league.
This would still leave the Rockets with enough money to pursue the re-signing of swingman Ron Artest, a move that seems imperative now that they may be dumping McGrady.
This trade for the Suns would be a salary dump, for the most part. In McGrady, they would be receiving a talented player that has battled several injury problems in recent years. However, the real impetus to acquire McGrady is, of course, his $23 million expiring contract.
This trade would also net Phoenix a couple of young pieces to build around in Brooks and Landry.
Brooks, as he displayed in the postseason, is a lightning-quick guard that can find his way to the rim seemingly at will. Landry is a big, athletic forward with skills comparable to Stoudemire.
Should the Suns decide to keep Steve Nash, Brooks is a phenomenal guy to have as a backup. Should they trade Nash this summer, Brooks is more than capable of stepping into a starting role.