The pressure is certainly on for several teams that have coveted 2010 free agents. GMs are faced with a huge dilemma. Do they keep their star and risk losing him in the offseason? Or do they trade him now and get something in return while they still can? The trade deadline is one month away and big decisions are going to have to be made. One of those teams that could pull the trigger on a blockbuster trade are the Phoenix Suns. ESPN’s Chad Ford is reporting that the Suns are 40 to 50 percent likely to move All-Star forward Amar’e Stoudemire.
Stoudemire trade rumors are almost a ritual in the Valley of the Sun this time of year. But with the four-time All-Star in a contract year, the urgency for GM Steve Kerr and owner Robert Sarver to move the big man is at a high.
Although Amar’e has had a solid season (20.8 ppg, 8.8 rpg) and is almost certainly going to be voted into the All-Star Game by the fans, the Suns have two major concerns about their starting center. First of all, there’s plenty of speculation that Amar’e will opt out and sign with a bigger-market team. Remember, New York has a lot of money to spend this summer and Stoudemire could be reunited with coach Mike D’Antoni. Miami and Chicago could also be appealing targets for him as well. Secondly, if Amar’e were to stay and sign an extension, you better believe he will be commanding a hefty payday. There has been speculation that he wants an extension similar to what Pau Gasol got from the Lakers (three-year, $64 million). And as we know, cost cutting has been a major priority for Suns management.
Those are good reasons why the Suns shouldn’t hesitate to move Stoudemire if they can get some young (and cheap) talent in return. A lot of people would argue that the Suns have a chance to make some noise in the postseason, and they shoudn’t move Amar’e. Especially since Steve Nash isn’t getting any younger and this could be one of his last chances to do something in the playoffs as a member of the Suns. Phoenix was the surprise team coming out of the gates – they started the season 14-3. But since then, the team has dropped in the standings, losing 15 of their last 25 games and are now 24-18 (sixth in the Western Conference). The Suns will likely stay in the playoff picture with their current roster, but how far can they can realistically go?
As we’ve learned from the Shaquille O’Neal trade (both to bring him in, then ship him out), Kerr is not afraid to make big moves. Amar’e has been nearly traded a few times in the last couple of seasons, most recently the trade rumor to the Warriors over the summer. I believe the Suns and Amar’e divorce is inevitable. Whether it’s going to happen by Feb. 18 or July 1st, you can bet he won’t be in a Suns uniform come September. With several teams like the Wizards, Bulls, Pacers all willing to deal, this upcoming month promises to be an active one. And count Amar’e to be in the middle of all of it.
Should the Suns trade Amar’e?