Amare Stoudemire staying in Phoenix?

When asked whether or not he’ll make a move prior to the February trade deadline, Suns GM Steve Kerr said the following (via FanHouse)…

“I don’t think we’re going to do anything,” he said. “I’m pretty happy with this group.”

Kerr was asked if that means Stoudemire, who can opt out of his contract next summer and become a free agent, is safe from being moved.

“I’d be pretty surprised if we did anything,” Kerr said. “We’re playing well. You always want to get better and you never say never (regarding a move). But we’re playing well.”

For his part, Stoudemire says that he’s not sure that he’s going to opt out at the end of the season.

“I’m right in the middle,’ he said. “There’s no particular way I’m leaning.”

“It’s up to them to approach me about whatever situation they think, whatever they’re thinking,” Stoudemire said. “Until then, I’m just going to keep playing and keep trying to win. The ball is pretty much in their court. Whenever they’re ready to discuss anything, just let me know. If not, I’m just going to keep playing.”

What a difference winning makes. The Suns are 16-8, an impressive mark considering Phoenix has only played eight home games thus far. They’re getting good play from Stoudemire (19-8, 56% shooting), Steve Nash (18-3-11, 53%) and Jason Richardson (16-5-2, career-high 48% shooting). Grant Hill (12-6-2) and Channing Frye (12-6) round out a pretty balanced starting five.

If the Suns can keep winning, Kerr is unlikely to make any moves. I’ve been hard on him over the last couple of seasons (mainly for trading Shawn Marion and letting Mike D’Antoni slip away), but the proof is in the pudding. He realized that the Shaq trade got the Suns away from what they do best — push the ball. The Suns are running again (4th in the NBA in pace) and that style suits their personnel.

If Amare is still on the roster after the trade deadline, then it’s up to the Suns to decide whether or not they want to commit to him long term. He’s still likely to opt-out, especially if he stays healthy and continues to play well. There are too many teams with salary cap space to let an opportunity for a long-term contract pass him by.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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What’s up with that Amare Stoudemire-to-Golden State trade?

The short answer is “I don’t know.”

Not enough? I don’t blame you. I wrote the following during my running diary on draft day:

There’s a rumor that the Warriors might send Andris Biedrins, Marco Belinelli, Brandan Wright and the #7 pick to Phoenix for Amare Stoudemire. That seems like an awful lot to give up given the trades we’ve seen go down in recent days. But Stoudemire is a borderline franchise player, so a good center (Biedrins) and three prospects (Belinelli, Wright and the #7 pick) doesn’t seem crazy.

The Warriors drafted Stephen Curry when he fell to #7. At that point, it wasn’t clear whether or not he’d be headed to Phoenix as part of this trade. Paul Coro of reported that he “likely” was headed to the Suns.

Golden State’s selection of Davidson point guard Stephen Curry at No. 7 was likely made for the Suns as part of an Amaré Stoudemire trade that can’t be completed until Wednesday. That is because Phoenix would be acquiring Warriors center Andris Biedrins, a base-year compensation player, as part of a Stoudemire deal that would include more Warriors players, possibly power forward Brandan Wright and/or shooting guard Marco Belinelli.

The Suns were hoping they could land Curry or Arizona power forward Jordan Hill with the Warriors’ seventh pick but had their choice after Minnesota took neither with its fifth and sixth picks.

The next day, Coro reported that the deal was all but done, but hinged on whether or not Curry was included…

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NBA Rumors: Stoudemire, T-Mac, Brand and more draft talk

T-Mac for Amare?

According to the same source that disclosed Terry Porter was about to be fired as Suns coach, the Rockets are leaning toward swapping Tracy McGrady’s expiring $22M contract, Carl Landry and Aaron Brooks for Leandro Barbosa and Stoudemire, who owns an escape clause after next season and is demanding an extension this summer to waive it.

I’m not sure what the upside is for the Suns. Stoudemire will likely opt out of his contract after the season, so they aren’t gaining any financial flexibility. They do get a couple of good young players (Landry and Brooks), but is that really enough? McGrady is a very good player when healthy, but he can’t seem to stay upright.

This would be a bold move for the Rockets, but it would leave them awfully thin at point guard. Kyle Lowry would be the only experienced PG on the roster, but Houston could use its mid-level exception to go out and get a veteran like Andre Miller or Mike Bibby, though the MLE may not be enough.

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