How Amare Played His Way out of Phoenix Wednesday

Tom PhillipsCorrespondent IMay 20, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 19:  Amar'e Stoudemire #1 of the Phoenix Suns drives with the ball against Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the first half of Game Two of the Western Conference Finals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 19, 2010 in Los Angeles, 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 Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

As one Phoenix journalist posted on Twitter during Game Two of the Western Conference Finals, "I think Amare opted out of his contract at halftime."

The one thing that all Suns fans knew they were getting with Amare Stoudemire was all offense and no defense. After his pathetic performance on guarding Pau Gasol, I think it is safe to say that Suns fans have had enough of his lackadaisical performance on the end that doesn't improve his stats.

Nothing against Gasol—he is a great player—but he is not Shaq or Hakeem Olajuwon. A player of Stoudemire's caliber should at least be able to stop him every once in awhile. He can't even do that.

Play after play the offense ran through Gasol because of one reason, Stoudemire's inability to defend. He is constantly out of position and is afraid to make plays on the defensive end for fear of getting in foul trouble.

By all accounts unless the Suns are willing to give him a new max deal for five years (Suns will only extend him by three years) he is as good as gone.

The sad thing is despite all of his abilities on the court, I am all for him leaving.

It took a midseason benching and not being traded to motivate him into becoming the dominating force that he was in the second half of the season.

Despite playing seven seasons in the NBA, he still gets by on athleticism and hasn't bothered to learn how to play defense. The only part of the game that he has improved is his mid-range jumper.

When Amare opts out of his contract this summer, he will likely land somewhere outside of the Valley of the Sun.

This would give the Suns around $44 million committed to eight players next season (let's say it safe to think that Grant Hill will pick up his option). Assuming they commit between $6-$7 million to re-signing Lou Amundson and Channing Frye (whose price tag has gone down since this series started) the Suns will have about $14 million in cap space to play around with.

They could sign two solid role players to add to the chemistry that this team has been able to develop so well. Or they could make a splash in the free agent market.

I'm not talking a LeBron type play but going for someone like Chris Bosh could be just the move the Suns are looking for. A power forward who would actually want to be in town and reap the benefits from everything that is Steve Nash.

Stoudemire has no post moves and is not willing to box out or is often out of place on rebounds. Bosh's numbers have improved every year since he has been in the league while Amare's has been up and down, plus there are the numerous injuries that he has racked up over the years (knee, eye).

Now is this likely to happen? No, I'm also a Suns fan (which means I'm pessimistic) and the only time we got a superstar was when Charles Barkley came to town.

The first two games of this series has only proved that the Suns need someone with a better all around game, in order to win a title. While Stoudemire can provide a name, he can't provide any D and that will not get the Suns a title while he is their power forward.