Tag:Amare Stoudemire
Posted on: February 15, 2009 8:50 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2009 4:51 am

Amare talks turn to Chicago, but ... (UPDATE)

PHOENIX -- As Amare Stoudemire warmed up for the NBA All-Star Game on his home floor Sunday night, the Suns' efforts to trade him circled back to the Chicago Bulls, three people with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com.

The Suns are discussing financial and basketball trades with several teams, and disagreement within the organization -- and in the mind of managing partner Robert Sarver -- continues to complicate matters, one of the people said. One faction of the organization views trading Stoudemire as a "giant mistake" that would be difficult to recover from and views the firing of coach Terry Porter as a sufficient move for now. Asssistant Alvin Gentry is expected to take over for Porter Monday.

The Suns' efforts to find the best deal for Stoudemire have come back to the Bulls partly because of Phoenix's interest in Tyrus Thomas, one of the people said. The trade likely would have to include at least one of the following -- Drew Gooden, whose contract expires after this season, and Larry Hughes, whose deal comes off the books after 2009-10.

If the Suns decide to dump salary and go young, there could be an additional smaller deal that follows any Stoudemire move, one of the people with knowledge of the team's strategy said. Though several other teams are still in the mix and are being apprised of the progress with Stoudemire, one rival executive familiar with the talks said Portland evidently is no longer an option.

Stoudemire received a warm welcome from the home crowd during the All-Star starters' introductions at US Airways Center. He pounded his chest in return and smiled. Was it hello or good-bye?

UPDATE: With 40.1 seconds left in the West's 146-119 victory, Stoudemire swooped in for a breakaway dunk. He admitted wondering if it would be his last as a Sun.

"At that time, I just wanted to do a fantastic dunk," Stoudemire said. "And then after that, when I got done, I thought that might be the final dunk here. And if it was, two thumbs up."

But the Suns' situation is so convoluted that Stoudemire at once referred to Gentry as the new coach and the next minute said, "I have never gotten an official word from our organization. So I'm still not totally sure if he’s here or not."

Stoudemire said he'd spoken with team president Steve Kerr briefly this weekend, and Kerr said this: "He said from a financial standpoint, it hasn't changed. But hopefully, I’ll be a Phoenix Sun. ... Like I told you guys, it was 60-40 me being here. It still hasn’t changed. Hopefully, that 60 is true and I will be here. But I feel like there’s a 40 percent chance I won't be."


Posted on: February 14, 2009 11:43 pm

Rumors galore

PHOENIX -- I am dizzy from these trade rumors.

It gets more and more ridiculous by the hour.

There have been two seemingly reputable reports in recent days that Vince Carter was on his way to Dallas or San Antonio. A person familiar with the Nets' situation told me that New Jersey did have inquiries from about a half-dozen teams and serious conversations with one. It was neither Dallas nor San Antonio.

The Cavs were supposedly hot for Amare Stoudemire, but someone with direct knowledge of the Suns' situation said there were no serious talks. Now the Cavs are after Marcus Camby. The only problem is, a team executive who is actively involved in trade discussions with numerous teams said the one thing you can bank on is that the Clippers aren't trading Camby.

So .....

Brace yourself for more rumors than you can shake a stick at over the next few days.

The teams that actually are the most active in trade discussions are the ones nobody's talking about. They are the teams flush with draft picks. Oklahoma City has five No. 1 picks in the next two drafts. They are being flooded with calls. Denver has a first-round pick from Charlotte that is top-12 protected in 2010 and unprotected in '14. It is an extremely valuable chip that any team clearing cap room for the free-agent class that year is trying to acquire. It means that after you spend all your money on one or two max free agents, you'll have a potential lottery pick to add cheap, hopefully talented labor. The Jazz and Nets each have extra unprotected first-round picks in 2010.

As I mentioned, brace yourself.


Posted on: February 13, 2009 7:39 pm

Amare: '60-40 they keep me'

PHOENIX -- Amare Stoudemire was right about one thing Friday when he said, "It's going to be an interesting 10 days." He just had his dates wrong. The trade deadline is six days away, and by Thursday we'll know if Stoudemire is staying or going.

As of now, Stoudemire said he's handicapping it at 60-40.

"Sixty keeping me, and 40 not keeping me," Stoudemire said. "Teams are asking about me and wanting me, so that's a good thing."

Stoudemire attracted one of the biggest crowds at the All-Star media session Friday, and for good reason. His team is furiously trying to reshape itself yet again by trading either Stoudemire or Shaquille O'Neal by Thursday. Stoudemire said he's been told by management that the reasons are financial.

"From a financial standpoint, it'll help them afford certain players," Stoudemire said. "I'm not sure if they're giving up on the season or still trying to win a championship. Not sure."

Speculation also continues to swirl about the future of Suns coach Terry Porter, whose job status has been the subject of organizational discussion for several weeks. But someone who still has a lot of clout in the Suns organization, Jerry Colangelo, made it pretty clear Friday that he feels Porter shouldn't be the only person held accountable.

"When Steve Kerr selected Terry Porter, that was his guy," said Colangelo, speaking at the news conference announcing the 2009 Basketball Hall of Fame finalists. "He had the faith and confidence in him. It’s either worked out or hasn’t or it’s something that’s being questioned right now. Steve has to be responsive to that one way or the other. Terry’s a good guy. He’s worked hard at it. He inherited a team in transition. People have to be held accountable, and those making those decisions should consider all of that."

Colangelo, the architect of Team USA's gold-medal performance at the Summer Olympics in Beijing last summer, is an oddly positioned figure in these All-Star festivities. Having spent much of his professional life grooming the Suns into a class organization, he envisioned an All-Star weekend here that would celebrate not only the success of his city, but also the franchise. Instead, the Suns are in turmoil.

"That’s a hard thing to swallow after giving birth to the franchise and being so intimately involved in it after 40 years," Colangelo said. "There’s turmoil right now. There’s transition. There’s a lot of rumors and speculation regarding a coaching change and trades. For certain, because of the age of the players, there’s instability right now. A lot of things could happen in all of those areas. The only two people who can really comment and say something constructive about it are (managing partner) Robert Sarver and Steve Kerr. There’s a lot of stuff circulating and it appears there could be some things happening."


Posted on: February 11, 2009 10:54 pm

Blazer talks cool; Heat, Bulls in hunt for Amare

Half the NBA is going West for All-Star weekend. The Suns are looking East when it comes to trading Amare Stoudemire.

Talks between the Suns and Portland Trail Blazers about Stoudemire have unraveled, CBSSports.com has learned. Phoenix is now focused on Eastern Conference teams -- and not just Chicago.

The Bulls remain a serious contender due to Drew Gooden's expiring contract and Larry Hughes' expiring deal next season, plus the largest expiring trade exception in the league ($5.2 million). But Miami is the latest team to emerge as a serious landing spot for Stoudemire, a person with direct knowledge of the talks said Wednesday night.

The Heat's involvement is sure to set off speculation about the possibility of Phoenix taking back Shawn Marion, who was traded to Miami for Shaquille O'Neal last February -- ground zero in the demolition of the Suns' 58-win-a-year success story over the past four seasons. But it is not believed that Suns managing partner Robert Sarver wants to go there. And Sarver's heavy hand in the process has become one of the key obstacles to Phoenix securing the best deal, according to two league executives -- one of whom described the situation as "dissension." Teams are getting mixed signals from Phoenix as far as what the Suns are looking to take back for Stoudemire, another executive said -- one version from Sarver and another from president Steve Kerr.

That isn't uncommon in NBA trade talks, especially on a deal as massive as this one. But it's just another impediment in Kerr's way as he tries to leverage an already difficult position. Some team executives have concerns about Stoudemire as a max player, given that anyone who acquires him would have to be prepared to re-sign him if he declines his player option after the 2009-10 season. Stoudemire's defensive deficiencies have been well documented, and he's a difficult player to commit to long-term given that he underwent microfracture knee surgery in 2005.

The deal Portland was discussing with Phoenix involved LaMarcus Aldridge, Jerryd Bayless, and Raef LaFrentz's $12.7 million expiring contract. "That deal is dead," the person familiar with the talks said. One reason could be that Portland is really looking to acquire an elite point guard, according to an NBA team executive. That begs the question of whether Portland G.M. Kevin Pritchard was asking for Steve Nash. But according to another rival executive, the Suns have made it clear that Nash, Grant Hill, and Leandro Barbosa are "untouchable."





Posted on: February 10, 2009 10:14 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2009 12:58 pm

Portland in the mix for Stoudemire (UPDATE)

The Portland Trail Blazers have made a strong play for Amare Stoudemire, discussing a package that includes LaMarcus Aldridge, Jerryd Bayless, and Raef LaFrentz's $12.7 million expiring contract, a person with direct knowledge of the talks told CBSSports.com Tuesday.

The Blazers, among the most active teams in the league as the Feb. 19 trade deadline draws near, have joined Chicago, Miami, Detroit, Toronto, Golden State, and New Jersey among a growing list of teams that have discussed acquiring Stoudemire from the Suns.

Several team executives told CBSSports.com that no clear front-runner has emerged as Suns president Steve Kerr tries to extract the best possible offer for Stoudemire, whose stock has fallen as Phoenix continues to struggle in its adjustment to a new style under coach Terry Porter. The Raptors are "pushing hard," one exec said, but at this point want to pair Stoudemire with Chris Bosh and continue to rebuff any trade proposals that include parting with the team's cornerstone. Bosh has a player option after next season and can become one of the headliners in the 2010 free-agent class.

The Blazers lost any chance of being a major player in free agency this summer when Darius Miles came out of medical retirement and joined the Memphis Grizzlies. Losing $9 million of cap space they thought they'd have, the Blazers are looking to make their splash now via the trade route. The Blazers have four extra second-round picks in the next two drafts to offer, plus the rights to British big man Joel Freeland, taken by Portland with the 30th pick in the 2006 draft. Freeland, playing for Gran Canaria of the Spanish League, is part of the discussion between the Blazers and Suns, the person with knowledge of the talks said.

UPDATE: One factor complicating matters, according to a team executive who has spoken with the Suns, is an apparent difference of opinion between Kerr and managing partner Robert Sarver as far as what Phoenix hopes to get back in a Stoudemire trade. Steve Nash, Grant Hill, and Leandro Barbosa are viewed as untouchable in any trade talks with the Suns. It is not known if any of those players is the source of disagreement between Kerr and Sarver.






Posted on: February 8, 2009 12:37 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2009 12:09 am

Amare talks heating up (UPDATE)

CLEVELAND -- The Phoenix Suns have engaged in trade talks with at least five or six teams, including the Pistons, Bulls, Nets, and Warriors, in their efforts to find the best offer for Amare Stoudemire, multiple league sources told CBSSports.com.

In the past 48 hours, the Suns' posture on Stoudemire has advanced from accepting calls to placing them, an indication that they've accelerated efforts to pull off sweeping changes before the Feb. 19 trade deadline.

The Pistons view Stoudemire as a good fit, according to a person with knowledge of the dialogue between the teams, and have the kind of assets Phoenix would be interested in -- large expiring contracts (Allen Iverson and Rasheed Wallace), young players with reasonable contracts (Jason Maxiell, Amir Johnson), and draft picks (three extra second-rounders and an extra first-rounder acquired in other trades).

Chicago also is a desirable destination, and the Bulls could offer Larry Hughes' $13.7 million deal expiring after next season. Plus, Chicago has the largest expiring trade exception ($5.2 million) in the league. The Nets have three first-rounders in upcoming drafts, but don't seem convinced that Stoudemire is the right fit, which would be a key component of any deal. Since Stoudemire has an early termination clause after the 2009-10 season, any team that acquires him would have to view him as its max free-agent signing in the summer of 2010.

UPDATE: Golden State also has had discussions with the Suns about Stoudemire, a person familiar with the talks said Sunday night -- although the Bay Area doesn't seem to be a likely destination.

"You'd have to have a deal in place to re-sign him," one rival executive said. "You'd have to have great interest and think he’s the guy for you."

Other teams believed to be in the mix for Stoudemire are Miami, Dallas, and possibly the Raptors, who are looking for other avenues to unload Jermaine O'Neal's $22 million contract for next season after talks with Miami about an O'Neal-for-Shawn Marion swap fizzled.

UPDATE: Several curious teams have called Toronto about Chris Bosh, two people with knowledge of the discussions said Friday night. But it's not clear whether the Bosh talks have involved Stoudemire, and to this point, Toronto's response has been that Bosh is not available.

As CBSSports.com first reported Friday, Phoenix also is seeking offers for Shaquille O'Neal, whose resurgence has not stemmed the Suns' inconsistency under first-year coach Terry Porter.



Posted on: February 5, 2009 10:52 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2009 8:59 am

Suns ready to make a deal

We told you a few weeks ago that the struggling Phoenix Suns were seriously considering the possibility of trading Amare Stoudemire as their franchise continues to unravel.

We told you Thursday with Jason Horowitz that there have been significant developments since then, and that the Suns' brass were considering firing coach Terry Porter, or trading Stoudemire or Shaq.

Now the Suns have reached a crossroads: Everything is on the table -- a coaching change, a big trade, and another new direction.

Sources have told CBSSports.com that the organization is poised for a major relaunch before the Feb. 19 trade deadline, with the first option believed to be a trade that would divest cash-strapped owner Robert Sarver of massive obligations to Stoudemire or O'Neal.

Frustration in the front office and locker room boiled over last Saturday night, when the Suns lost to the Bulls at home. Sarver, president Steve Kerr, coaches, and two players -- Steve Nash and Grant Hill -- met behind closed doors for almost an hour after the loss. But two people familiar with the situation said that meeting was overblown; essentially, it was an extension of a series of soul-searching sessions under way recently. Sarver's tolerance for losses both basketball and financial have been seriously diminished by the economic downturn; he's in the banking business, not the best business to be in during the current financial catastrophe.

Failing to assert themselves as a serious contender, the Suns are seeking to bring back young talent on rookie contracts, draft picks,  and if possible, expiring contracts in any deal for Stoudemire or Shaq. Things seemed to stabilize after the closed-door meeting when the Suns blew out Sacramento by 48 points in their next game. But inconsistency has been their only staple; Phoenix followed up with an inexcusable loss to Golden State, which exemplified the run-and-gun style that was good for 58 wins a year the past four seasons under Mike D'Antoni in Phoenix.

Those days are over, and it appears that it's time to tear things down and start over.



Posted on: January 22, 2009 3:13 pm

Who should be starting the All-Star Game?

There will be at least one surprise when All-Star starters are announced Thursday night. Amare Stoudemire has passed Carmelo Anthony in the voting since the most recent tabulation Jan. 8, securing his first All-Star start, according to the Arizona Republic.

If there are no other changes, Stoudemire would be joined by Tim Duncan and Yao Ming in the front court with Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady in the backcourt for the West. The East starters as of Jan. 8 were Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett and LeBron James up front with Dwyane Wade and Allen Iverson in the backcourt.

Reserves for the Feb. 15 game in Phoenix are selected by the coaches and will be announced Jan. 29.

So here's my question: If All-Star voting wasn't a popularity contest, who would be the starting five for each conference? Who deserves it?


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com