While Amar’e Stoudemire occupies the feature spot on Madison Square Garden’s marquee, the Phoenix Suns are exploring their options for how to replace their best (only?) interior threat. Because as much grief as Amar’e gets for being simply a byproduct of Steve Nash, the reality is that Nash thrived off Amar’e as much as Amar’e thrived off Nash.
In what would be a cost-cutting move to pave the way for signing another big man, the Suns are reportedly talking to a couple of teams about trading Leandro Barbosa. One deal would have Barbosa headed to Boston for Rasheed Wallace — a.k.a Rasheed Wallace’s Contract, since ‘Sheed himself may have played his last NBA game — but the more realistic option is a deal sending Barbosa to Cleveland for Jamario Moon and Delonte West.
Barbosa has $14.7 million and two years left on his contract, whereas Moon’s deal is expiring in 2011 and West is looking like a buyout at this point. More importantly than the players, the Suns could save about $3.5 million this season and get more room under the cap next summer to sign a max-contract guy.
For the Cavs, Barbosa would be a solid pickup. Byron Scott has said he wants the team to run, and with or without LeBron, Barbosa obviously excels in a track meet style of game. He could platoon at the two with Anthony Parker as a starter, or come off the bench as the second unit’s top scorer.