Tag:Suns
Posted on: June 25, 2009 8:56 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2009 1:19 am
 

Amare talks heating up; Minny dealing?

Discussions between the Suns and Warriors about a trade that would send Amare Stoudemire to Golden State were advancing Thursday night, two people familiar with the situation told CBSSports.com.

Key components of the deal were still coming into focus, but both people -- one a rival executive and the other a person with knowledge of the Warriors' plans -- said the talks were serious enough for contract negotiations between Stoudemire and the Warriors to commence.

A trade sending Stoudemire to the Warriors would explain Golden State's selection of yet another combo guard, leaving open the possibility that new GM Larry Riley selected Stephen Curry for the Suns.

UPDATE: However, contrary to logic, another executive said the Warriors are keeping Curry. The pieces going to Phoenix, the executive said, would be Andris Biedrins, Marco Belinelli, and Brandan Wright. The deal can't go through until July 1, and Stoudemire needs to agree to a contract extension with Golden State, which can't be signed until July 8.

In another possible resolution to a curious draft night development, an Eastern Conference GM said there was growing belief among team executives that the Timberwolves were looking to trade one of the two point guards they selected with the fifth and sixth picks. Speculation immediately centered around the Knicks, although this executive was not familiar with a scenario that would send a package including No. 8 pick Jordan Hill to Minnesota for Rubio. More on that as it evolves.

UPDATE: A high-level source familiar with the organizational strategy of both the Knicks and Timberwolves has told CBSSports.com that Rubio is staying in Minnesota and Hill in New York. T-Wolves GM David Kahn could not be higher on Rubio, and the Knicks' brass loves Hill for the interior toughness he will bring. The Rubio-to-New York speculation isn't true.

UPDATE: Or at least it's not true from the standpoint of it actually happening. Rubio's agent, Dan Fegan, would like it to be true. But Kahn is holding his ground and holding onto Rubio, setting up a showdown with a player who could opt to stay in Spain for a couple of years rather than freeze his culito off in Minnesota.

Posted on: June 25, 2009 11:04 am
 

McGrady on the move?

The Rockets have been fielding plenty of inquiries about oft-injured former All-Star Tracy McGrady, whose $23.2 million expiring contract is attractive to teams looking to clear cap space for 2010.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey told the Houston Chronicle that teams have been "very aggressive" in their pursuit of McGrady, and unlike last summer, Morey is listening intently. One such scenario floated by the New York Post, has McGrady, Aaron Brooks, and Carl Landry going to Phoenix for Stoudemire and Leandro Barbosa. That's a dubious one, considering the Suns' long-held reluctance to trade Barbosa. But with Phoenix in fire-sale mode, everything appears to be on the table.

One team known to have discussed McGrady is the Knicks, whose stated plan since Donnie Walsh took over as team president has been to get the financial books in order for 2010. "They have interest," a person with knowledge of the McGrady discussions said.

Stoudemire's situation is muddled by the fact that he has a termination option in his contract after next season. Any team acquiring him would want assurances that Stoudemire would sign an extension this summer in exchange for waiving the termination clause. To this point, according to a source, Stoudemire's representation has not been brought into any trade discussions involving the four-time All-Star.


Posted on: June 24, 2009 10:59 pm
 

Shaq is back

The on-again, off-again trade proposal that would send Shaquille O'Neal to Cleveland to do for LeBron James what he did for Kobe Bryant is ... you guessed it ... on again.

The key components have been discussed since the February trade deadline, and you must know them by heart at this point. The Cavs get Shaq, and the Suns get cap relief (not to mention Shaq relief). The cap relief comes in the form of Ben Wallace's $14 million expiring contract -- which could expire sooner than we think if Big Ben was serious about retiring and taking a buyout -- and Sasha Pavlovic, who has only $1.5 million of his $4.9 million for 2009-10 guaranteed.

If essentially the same package has been discussed on and off for four months, what's the problem? Word is that Danny Ferry wants to fully explore what those expiring contracts will yield and will strike when the time is right and it's clear he's gotten the best offer. The Suns, not willing to give up on regaining a spot among the Western Conference elite, want something more than cap relief. Short of future draft picks from the Cavs, the only way to accomplish that is to recruit a third team.




Posted on: June 24, 2009 6:12 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2009 6:22 pm
 

Trade Buzz 2.0

Here’s your second cup of pre-draft trade buzz of the day. In case you missed it, the first cup is here. One more cup, and you will have consumed as many cups of trade buzz as I’ve consumed coffee today:

• The Trail Blazers, known to be seeking an upgrade at point guard, have expressed interest in the Bulls’ Kirk Hinrich. But a possible Portland-Chicago trade involving Hinrich has yet to enter the realm of serious discussion, according to a person familiar with the situation. While there has been speculation for months that the Bulls would be open to moving Tyrus Thomas, who has been linked to Hinrich in a possible Portland trade, Thomas has been told there’s “nothing at all” on the table involving him at this point, the person said.

• The Suns are hoping to pry Oklahoma City’s 25th overall pick, using a 2010 unprotected first-rounder as bait.

• The Knicks, convinced they cannot land Davidson guard Stephen Curry with the eighth pick, continue to actively explore ways to move up. New York also has engaged in talks with Minnesota about acquiring the 28th pick and Memphis about No. 27.

• We’ve already told you about the Atlanta-Golden State trade that would send Jamal Crawford to Atlanta – a trade I don’t really understand. Crawford is owed more than $19 million over the next two seasons and isn’t a natural point guard (and thus can’t be viewed as a reasonable replacement for unrestricted free agent Mike Bibby). Do the Hawks hate the $7.4 million owed to Speedy Claxton and Acie Law so much that they’re willing to try to force-fit Crawford into an offense already dominated by Joe Johnson and Josh Smith? There must be something more to this.

• Loyal BergerSphere readers also are aware that the Blazers and Mavericks have swapped the 24th and 22nd picks, respectively, with Portland giving up one of its four second-round picks -- 56th overall -- for the right to move up two spots.

Back with more -- and back to the coffee pot -- as needed.
Posted on: June 18, 2009 11:42 am
 

Amare for Jefferson?

I hate to keep being that guy. You know, the guy who takes a perfectly delicious and sensible trade rumor and swats it into the fourth row like Dwight Howard. Sadly, I am stopping by the BergerSphere once again just long enough to ruin your day.

As with most trade rumors this time of year -- or any time of year, frankly -- any discussion of a trade between Phoenix and Minnesota involving Amare Stoudemire and Al Jefferson is premature. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, here's how this one went down. Suns and Timberwolves officials had a discussion at the pre-draft camp in Chicago that went like this: Phoenix expressed interest in Jefferson. Minnesota indicated that it would be highly unlikely it would be willing to do a deal involving Jefferson. Phoenix asked to be informed if that were to change.

That's it. Just another day on the pre-draft rumor mill.

There will, I promise you, be some actual trades that occur between now and draft night. After the first pick -- Blake Griffin to the Clippers -- the jockeying to move down is palpable. The teams positioned from 2-7 -- Memphis, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, Washington, Minnesota, and Golden State -- have varying degrees of desire to trade out of their spots. The one team that has expressed only a lukewarm desire to trade out is Sacramento, and the Thunder aren't 100 percent averse to using their pick -- although GM Sam Presti doesn't need another young guy. Memphis, according to a source, likes Tyreke Evans and Stephen Curry, though not necessarily with the second pick. In a deep but not very top-heavy draft, the Grizzlies are said to be interested in moving down as far as No. 7. That's the theme heading into the last weekend before next Thursday night's draft. According to a team executive involved in the process, "Nobody wants to be the guy who takes somebody at [No.] 3 and passes on the next Michael Jordan at [No.] 7."

My radar tells me the Knicks are up to something, and a rival team executive confirms that New York is the rare example of a team that would consider moving up -- in this case, for either Curry or Ricky Rubio.

Strap on your trade rumor hats and give me the best you've got. The keys are on the table for a couple of days while I regroup after the Finals. Any trade rumors, reports, suggestions, or proposals that you post here will be answered.

Posted on: June 14, 2009 3:53 pm
 

Shaq to Cavs: Give it some time

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Cavaliers are taking an aggressive posture as they head into the draft and free-agent period, so it was only a matter of time before the Shaquille O'Neal talks heated up again.

Several media outlets began reporting Sunday that the Cavs and Suns have reignited talks about sending Shaq to Cleveland to help LeBron James in his quest for a championship. There wasn't much to reignite in the first place; widely hyped discussions involving O'Neal at the trade deadline were never on the verge of producing a deal. An executive familiar with the situation told CBSSports.com Sunday that the situation hasn't evolved much since then, expressing surprise at the flurry of reports. 

But when you have two teams desperate to move assets -- Phoenix with Shaq's $20 million expiring contract, and Cleveland with Ben Wallace's $14 million expiring contract and Sasha Pavlovic's partially guaranteed deal -- smoke often gives way to fire. Throw in the fact that the Cavs are coming off a debilitating loss to Orlando in the conference finals and an embarrassing week that featured a false report about coach Mike Brown's future, and you can see why the time may be right to shift to focus to the team's pursuit of O'Neal.

The executive involved in the teams' dealings said he fully expects the O'Neal situation to move to the forefront once the clubs begin fully exploring their options in the draft and free agency, which begins next month. The Suns, coming off a 46-win, non-playoff season, are highly motivated to move O'Neal in a bid to avoid paying luxury tax. Acquiring Wallace and Pavlovic, whose $4.9 million contract is only guaranteed for $1.5 million next season, would save Phoenix as much as $10 million, including luxury tax savings.

The Cavs view Pavlovic's partial guarantee and several players on minimum deals as a built-in trade exception they can use to improve the roster and give LeBron the big man he needs to compete for a championship at the highest level. A person familiar with the Cavs' thinking said the team is open to any and all possibilities and plans to take an aggressive approach in retooling a roster that won a league-best 66 games but failed to reach the NBA Finals.

A wild card in the Shaq talks is Wallace, who stated after the playoff loss to the Magic that he was seriously considering retirement. Cavs management has yet to speak directly with Wallace about his intentions, and as of now the club doesn't expect him to walk away from the $14 million left on his deal. If Wallace reiterated his desire to retire, it would spur buyout talks that would free up cap space immediately. Short of that, Wallace would get no money and the $14 million he is owed would come off the Cavs' books.

The idea of Shaq in Cleveland as a running mate for LeBron would present endless storylines and the delicious possibility of Kobe Bryant -- if he returns to the Lakers -- meeting his former and current nemeses in next year's Finals. The marketing people would have a field day adding a Shaq puppet to the popular Kobe & LeBron commercials. Bryant would be presented with the challenge of pursuing his fifth championship against the player he won with -- and feuded with -- in L.A. and the player who is trying to claim Bryant's title as the best player in the game.


It almost sounds too good to be true, except that it's not. Just give it some time.






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