Marc Stein’s trade talk: Amare, Tyson, Richard Jefferson and more

The trade deadline is Thursday, and trade talk is really heating up. Marc Stein gives us the latest.

Two rival executives we spoke with Sunday night immediately wondered whether the Suns’ decision to replace Terry Porter with Alvin Gentry would convince Phoenix to “tap the brakes,” as one put it, on its Stoudemire talks. If the Suns are going to try to recapture a semblance of what they had under Mike D’Antoni, with the only holdover from D’Antoni’s staff taking over, you can understand why Gentry would prefer to have Stoudemire for the rest of the season to help the cause.

Stoudemire is still under contract for another season, so it wouldn’t hurt the Suns if they wanted to see what Gentry could do with this group before moving their star player over the summer. I’d say that the Porter firing makes it more likely that Stoudemire stays put, though I’d still put the chances at better than 50/50 that Amare is moved before the trade deadline.

Read the rest after the jump...

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2008 NBA Preview: #9 Detroit Pistons

Offseason Movement: The Pistons’ biggest offseason signing was Kwame Brown. That’s right…Kwame Brown.
Keep Your Eye On: The Pistons’ age
Chauncey Billups (32), Rip Hamilton (30), Rasheed Wallace (34) and Antonio McDyess (34) are all at the end of or past their respective primes, so the Pistons are going to hit the wall, it’s just a matter of when. Will it be this season? The team does have some youth in Tayshaun Prince (28), Rodney Stuckey (22), Jason Maxiell (25) and Amir Johnson (21), but Prince is the only completely dependable player on that list. Stuckey has a chance to be a star, but he’s going to be playing behind Billups and Hamilton for the foreseeable future.
The Big Question: Does this group have another run in it?
After last season, it looked like the Pistons were going to make some big changes, but after a few rumored trades fell through, they’re left with pretty much the same roster as last season. So this leaves the Pistons in a tough spot. They’re good enough to (easily) make the playoffs, but are they good enough to make another Finals appearance?
Outlook: Fruitless. Unless everything breaks their way, it’s hard to see the Pistons making the Finals with this group. I like the roster, and when they’re firing on all cylinders, they’re very tough to beat. But they are at times complacent, and they’re just not good enough anymore to be giving games away in the playoffs. They almost lost to an upstart Philly team due to a lack of focus. Once again, they’ll make the playoffs and, once again, they’ll probably win their first round series, but barring a big leap by one of their young players, that’s probably as far as they’ll go.

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