I love the pie-in-the-sky trade speculation this time of year. Brian Windhorst has the latest:
The Arizona Republic reported late Sunday night that the Cavaliers are one of three teams to be in talks recently with the Suns about trading for star Amare Stoudemire. The reporter on this story is the Republic’s Paul Coro, which why there is a blog going up on this topic now and it is not being regarded as common fodder. Coro has a good reputation for being credible. For example, was the first to report the Cavs and Suns had re-started trade talks for Shaquille O’Neal last June.
It would be surprising that the Suns would want to do another salary dump trade with a star but it isn’t impossible. This move potentially could save team owner Robert Sarver another $10 million and perhaps more. The natural trade that makes sense here would be Zydrunas Ilgauskas and J.J. Hickson for Stoudemire. The Suns could also ask for draft picks, the Cavs own their full slate of first round picks in the future. The Cavs and Suns talked about Hickson the O’Neal deal but the Cavs wanted to keep him. So the Suns have a history of interest in Hickson.
The Suns and Warriors nearly pulled a deal for Stoudemire last June before the draft but it fell apart. There is little doubt that both the Wolves and Warriors could put together more talent-rich offers for Stoudemire. The Cavs cannot and will not offer the same package of young players.
But with Stoudemire having the right to become a free agent this summer, it would be foolish for either team to trade for him without an agreement he’d re-sign with them. He already made it clear he didn’t want to go to Golden State last summer, which was one of the sticking points to that failed trade. It is hard to believe he’d want to stay in Minnesota, which is in the middle of a large rebuilding project.
That factor reduces Stoudemire’s value on the trade market and why such a deal would make some sense for the Cavs. Stoudemire has said he wants to play for a contender but probably would also be attracted to New York or Miami in the offseason. So the danger is the Cavs may find themselves renting him as well.
Yikes. Amare Stoudemire! For Z and J.J.? Yes, yes and yes.
While I’m (still) not the biggest Amare guy out there, I have to admit that the dude has talent. A lot of talent. All-star level talent. He just happens not use it on the defensive end.
I’m not one who advocates giving up draft picks and young players (I’m completely against giving Washington anything but capspace for Jamison. No #1 picks, no J.J.), but for a player like Amare, you do it. He averages 20 and 8 at the age of 27. Amare is what you hope J.J. becomes, he’s Hickson’s best case scenario.
But there are concerns. Defensively, if you’re the Cavs, you hope Amare’s poor defensive attitude is due to the Suns’ run-and-gun philosophy and that Mike Brown (and LeBron) can get Stoudemire on the right page. But I’d be very concerned about starting Mo Williams, Amare and Shaq every night, defensive pick-and-rolls could be brutal.
Offensively, he may not be the perfect fit either, John Krolik:
First of all, Amare isn’t the most cerebral offensive player. His assist ratio ranks 61st of the 68 listed power forwards. His turnover ratio is 46th out of 68. He’s not as good of a finisher in traffic as he used to be, either. He only makes 56% of his layups, and doesn’t have a left hand to speak of, but he’s more than willing to try and force a right-handed shot in traffic. If the ball gets tossed to Amare, it’s probably not coming back. And those numbers come in an offense with amazing spacing and a directive to rotate the ball back to Steve Nash at the first sign of trouble. Do you really want a player like that on the floor with LeBron James, especially late in games?
Not only that, but we’d get to watch Mike Brown retool the offense on the fly (something I don’t think he’d necessarily have to do with someone like Jamison or Troy Murphy). So that should be fun.
All of that being said, I’m 10000000% behind trading for Stoudemire. Yes, like LeBron, Amare could leave after the season. But if you’re the Cavs, you have to think that bringing in Amare would be quite an incentive for LeBron to stay (and vice versa). A core of Mo Williams (27), Stoudemire (27) and LeBron (25) is more than solid.
While I doubt the Cavs end up with Amare, I do think it’s within the realm of possibility. The Suns and their owner are nortoriously cheap, it makes no sense to trade him to a bad team (since he’ll just walk), Danny Ferry and Steve Kerr have a familiarity both on the court and as GMs (Shaquisition) and the Cavs have just enough salary relief and young talent to make things interesting.
At the end of the day, I just can’t see the Suns trading a 27 year old big man for Z, J.J. Hickson and late round draft picks. You gotta think there’d be a better offer out there but a guy can dream, right?
And I gotta say, I like this rumor a lot more than the Andre Iguodala one. Iggy is Larry Hughes with muscles (defensively they’d be ridiculous, offensively… notsomuch).