It’s becoming abundantly clear that Amare Stoudemire ’s days in Phoenix are numbered (or maybe not, you just can’t tell with the Suns). The only question left is exactly where he’ll call home, at least for the next few months.
Early Monday the answer looked to be Cleveland. As of Monday night, the answer seems less clear cut.
Although the Heat have first-round picks available to sweeten any Stoudemire deal—with the Suns hoping to come away with at least one first-rounder if they decide to trade Stoudemire this week—sources say Phoenix has no interest in taking back Jermaine O’Neal’s hefty expiring contract because, at $23 million, it requires more players to be worked into the deal than the Suns are comfortable with.
Yet one source insisted Monday night that the Suns have not ruled out taking back forward Michael Beasley as part of a Stoudemire deal.
The Heat—after carefully preserving their salary-cap space for months—are suddenly pushing hard to make a big trade splash now if possible instead of waiting for free agency in July and gambling on the idea that they can lure a marquee name such as LeBron James or Chris Bosh to South Beach to flank Dwyane Wade. [ESPN.com]
It certainly makes things a little more interesting in the STAT sweepstakes. Two more teams, a change in Phoenix’s reported stance on Michael Beasley (although John Gambadoro doesn’t agree ) and the possibility of it all going down in the next 24 hours ? Can you feel the excitement?
I’m not sure exactly what makes for a good trade for Amare Stoudemire at this point, but any talent that is more than J.J. Hickson would be a step in the right direction.
If the Suns complete the reported trade with the Cavs, the Suns will have in effect traded Amare, Shawn Marion, and Shaquille O’Neal for cap space and J.J. Hickson over the last two years.
While cap space plays defense about as well as Amare and Shaq , it doesn’t do much on the offensive end of the court and it certainly doesn’t put butts in the seats.
Buckle up, things are about to get interesting (or end exactly the same way as it has the last two trade deadlines, all smoke, no fire).
Your Turn: Amare Stoudemire to the Cleveland Cavaliers or to the Miami Heat via a three way deal, which do you prefer? Let us know in the comment section below.