Tag:Shaquille O'Neal
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 21, 2009 11:53 pm

Amare says Suns' fear factor is gone

NEW YORK -- What ails the Phoenix Suns? Plenty. They're a run-and-gun team saddled with a plodding, 325-pound (at least) Hall of Fame behemoth, being called upon to play defense -- never a priority during the Mike D'Antoni era.

Perhaps the worst indictment of all came from Amare Stoudemire Wednesday night after the Suns lost to D'Antoni's new team, the Knicks, 114-109.

"I'm not sure we have the confidence that we used to have, knowing that teams are afraid of us," Stoudemire said. "I don’t think that confidence is there anymore. It still can be, but it’s a matter of getting wins and setting a tone early, staying on top of folks, communicating effectively. I think all that comes into play."

Phoenix is percentage points ahead of Dallas for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West -- and fading. The Mavs got run out of the Bradley Center in a 133-99 loss to the Bucks Wednesday night, so they have their own problems. But the Suns (23-17) have lost four out of five for the second time this season and have put together back-to-back head-scratchers. The 104-87 loss in Boston Monday was somewhat understandable. But losing to the Knicks? With Jared Jeffries, David Lee, and Tim Thomas defending Shaq on the blocks? With Chris Duhon outplaying Steve Nash down the stretch?

"We’re supposed to beat a team like this," said Shaquille O'Neal, who had 21 points and 14 rebounds but missed eight of 13 free throws -- including three in the closing minutes. "... It’s just another game that we let slip away. Hopefully, later in the season games like this don’t cost us."

Coach Terry Porter admitted he's getting concerned. Nash said the Suns' defense was "nonexistent." Stoudemire called these "bad, hard times for us."

Perhaps Nash (3-for-9 from the field with nine points and 19 assists) summed it up best when he was asked how it felt to come to New York and play against his former coach's new team.

"Not very good," Nash said. "Not very good."

The Suns are staying in New York and watching film Thursday morning before heading to Charlotte for Game 4 of this six-game road trip. Might I suggest Titanic.


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