Getting our hopes up

Truckloads of salt please:

It says here, the Cavaliers, Lakers and Heat are the lone teams who should seriously consider obtaining Stoudemire’s sub-standard services. Sunday’s All-Star start is a gift from an adoring, oblivious public. He’d have no problem deferring to LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade because their areas of expertise don’t conflict with his, and they’re genuine franchise players . . . whereas he pretends to be.

Last I looked, Stoudemire hasn’t exactly proved capable of carrying an affluent team to ultimate glory.

Judging by what the Cavs have to offer – as mentioned, expiring contracts and talented youngbloods – and Kerr’s connection and affection for Danny Ferry – I’m guessing it’ll be Kevin McHale-Danny Ainge revisited . . . unless L.A. makes Lamar Odom available.

Now, look, I’m not the biggest Amare guy (and this rumor is from Peter Vecsey) but this would be a delight. I was never a huge fan of his game (nice first step, though his jumper has improved) and his defense is atrocious (he let Varejao drive right past him on Wednesday night). But if you can pick him up for Wally+Hickson+picks, you do that and don’t look back.

Now, I don’t really think that the Cavs have a legit shot (and they shouldn’t) but they have a couple of things working in their favor.

First, the Suns owner is nortoriously stingy. So if they don’t want to take on a lot of salary, Wally’s deal (and Snow’s) would be mighty attractive. Plus, Hickson is a legit prospect (he was even mentioned in Simmons’s trade value column).

Secondly, Stoudemire has been on the market for practically the entire season and the Suns have gotten no decent offers. There may not be a good deal out there for Amare’s potential worth, so they may have to settle anyways.

Third, Ferry and Kerr were teammates in both Cleveland and San Antonio. There’s a history and friendship there and it could help grease those gears.

And fourth, but probably one of the most important points, is this:

There is one indication that Suns trade talk involving forward Amaré Stoudemire has not advanced far: His agent has not heard from the Suns about any proposals.

Former National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Charlie Grantham, Stoudemire’s new agent this season, equates this portion of trade exploration as fantasy basketball, with the majority of the teams exploring the possibilities. When it gets to reality, Grantham said, he will want Stoudemire to have a say, because he will not want to go just anywhere.

—— [snip]——

If the Suns get serious about a trade involving Stoudemire before Thursday’s deadline, Grantham expects to be consulted.

“A place that may be a real good deal for them may not be the best place for us,” said Grantham, who is in Phoenix. “In that case, we would not be interested in signing an extension. I would think most teams would not want to rent him for a year and a half. They would want him to sign for more years and know that he’s interested in staying.”

Grantham said he would not discourage a deal with a team based on market size but added that the potential for a team’s success would be a factor.

“Every player wants to go where they have a chance to win a championship,” he said. “When you’re thrust into the position he is, you hope you have some input there.”

Now, Amare wanting a say and Amare getting a say are two totally different things. But the fact that he wants to go to a winner (and market size isn’t an issue) has got to work in the Cavs’ favor.

I really don’t think Stoudemire will end up in wine & gold. There are too many teams (Bulls, Heat, Blazers) that can offer a better package of players.

But right now everything is point towards the Suns getting a crappy deal for Amare. And the Cavs DO have the pieces to form a crappy deal that a cheapskate might find enticing (and they fit the criteria that Stoudemire would want).

Though it’s fun to dream, right? A starting line up of Williams-West-LeBron-Amare-Z? I mean, Christ that’s a rough five. Now, the Cavs would be banking on Stoudemire catching the defensive bug and I have no idea how that’ll play out (Mike Brown would have to work some magic. And he’d need LeBron to set a firm line).

(I’d say say Shaq is the more likely option. But with this economy and the Robert Sarver being a cheap ass…)

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