According to Chris Broussard of ESPN The Magazine, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Phoenix Suns are closing in on a deal that would send star big man Amar'e Stoudemire to the Cavs for J.J. Hickson and Zydrunas Ilguaskas.
Sources have indicated that talks have gone “pretty far down the tracks” about Stoudemire and the small financial details of the deal have also been settled on. Plus, most importantly, LeBron James has signed off on the deal.
The Cavs have made their offer; the decision now lies on whether the Phoenix Suns are ready to finally pull the trigger on Stoudemire. Cleveland has been actively talking with teams such as Indiana and Washington for Troy Murphy and Antwan Jamison, respectively, who may be better fits in the Cavs system.
Phoenix, however, is not sure whether the financial relief of Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ expiring contract and the young J.J. Hickson is enough for Stoudemire. Phoenix would probably waive Ilgauskas and Ilgauskas would have to wait a mandatory 30 day period in order to return to his Cavs.
In fact, Phoenix is not sure that this is the best they could get for Stoudemire. Actually, Philadelphia swingman Andre Iguodala seems to be the Suns first choice.
But the 76ers aren’t sure whether they want to give up their best player and most marketable piece in Iguodala for a player in Stoudemire who doesn’t necessarily fit in the 76ers long term plan, as Stoudemire wants to go to a contender—something the Sixers are far from at the moment.
Sixers GM Ed Stefanski and head coach Eddie Jordan have performed below expectations and appear to be on their way out, possibly at the end of the season. The best thing the Sixers could do is blow up the core of Iguodala, Elton Brand, and Samuel Dalembert, and start building around the young guys in Thaddeus Young, Mareese Speights, and Jrue Holiday.
As for Stoudemire’s first choice, that appears to be the Miami Heat. Stoudemire is a native of Florida and owns an offseason home in Miami. In my opinion, the best player the Suns could possibly get is Michael Beasley.
Stoudemire in Cleveland may not be the slam dunk everyone is making it out to be. Cavs head coach Mike Brown is a defensive minded coach and Stoudemire, to say the least, considers defensive optional. Plus, we saw Stoudemire and Shaq last year try to the run the high post, low post offense, and it didn’t work.
My guess is Cleveland may be bluffing in order to make a play for Washington’s Antawn Jamison, the true stretch 4 that they need. Stoudemire isn’t really a stretch PF, and like I mentioned earlier, Shaq and Stoudemire with the best passer in the league didn’t work to its fullest last year.
Beasley has star potential and would be dynamic with Steve Nash. With Nash, Beasley could also put up similar numbers to Stoudemire in the run-and-gun, up tempo Phoenix Suns system.
The Suns would benefit if they waited until the last hours of the deadline because teams such as Philadelphia and Miami may panic, and the Suns first choice is definitely not the Cavs.
While the Cavs continue to be heavily pursuing Stoudemire, the real motive for the public pursuit of Stoudemire may be Antawn Jamison.