Spurs consider bidding for Stoudemire
Another intriguing suitor could emerge in the bidding for Phoenix Suns star Amar’e Stoudemire(notes): the San Antonio Spurs.
Multiple league sources say the Spurs’ front office has researched and debated pursuing Stoudemire to play alongside Tim Duncan(notes).
There are questions for the Spurs to answer: Would they be willing to part with the personnel – including possibly Manu Ginobili(notes) – to make a deal happen?
Do the Spurs want to re-sign Stoudemire to a contract extension and swell their payroll?
Do they believe Stoudemire could be the difference for their fifth championship?
All questions with no clear answers for the Spurs – yet.
Nevertheless, the possibility of an athletic, offensive force like Stoudemire has become too irresistible to easily dismiss. The Spurs (25-18) have lost five of their past six games, and have fallen into sixth place in the Western Conference.
“They know they’ve got to do something,” says a source familiar with the front office’s thinking. “They feel like they’ve got to at least look at this … and they are.”
The Miami Heat are exploring the possibility of a deal, but Pat Riley also knows he can keep Dwyane Wade(notes) and sign Stoudemire as a free agent this summer. Miami’s president doesn’t have to make a trade now. Chicago, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Detroit and Minnesota are among other teams with an interest with Stoudemire.
For Phoenix and San Antonio, there could be a different urgency. The Suns are motivated to move Stoudemire out of a growing belief they’ll never come to terms with him on a contract extension. Stoudemire can opt out of the $17.7 million owed him next season. Suns owner Robert Sarver has been in constant cost-cutting mode, and although he does want to keep Stoudemire, it’s become increasingly unlikely that will happen.
The Spurs need a young, athletic frontcourt complement for an aging Duncan. Despite taking on significant payroll this summer in moves for Richard Jefferson(notes) and Antonio McDyess(notes), it’s become clearer to the Spurs that their frontline is still ill-equipped to overthrow the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Spurs have always maintained an interest in Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh(notes), a Texas native, but Raptors’ general manager Bryan Colangelo has yet to show a strong inclination to trade his star before his impending free agency this summer.
As painful as it would be for the franchise and fans, the Spurs could try to part with Ginobili and his $10.8 million expiring contract to make a package work. What about burgeoning young guard George Hill(notes), a Gregg Popovich favorite? The Spurs also own the rights to one of the best young centers in Europe, Tiago Splitter(notes), whom a source says could leave the Spanish League to get to the NBA next season.
Many league executives wonder, too: Would the Suns be adverse to trading such a major talent to a longstanding Western Conference rival? Perhaps, but understand the market for Stoudemire is somewhat limited because so many teams don’t want to part with well-regarded assets and draft picks for what could amount to be a rent-a-player for this season.
Almost all teams would want assurance they could re-sign Stoudemire. Given the All-Star’s stated desire to play for a championship contender, staying with the Spurs wouldn’t seem to be the most difficult sell.
Don't think it will happen, but I have always liked the spurs and would like to see the duo of Duncan and Amare. Ginobili has done little for them the last couple of years at least and he is a big question mark with health. Don't know why Phoenix would do any trade with the Spurs, especially for Ginobili when they have JRich, Hill and Barbosa. Big risk for the Spurs as well if they made such a trade, because Amare could leave in a few months
Talk about anything general in the NBA here.
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migya make the ring fall on ya
Stoudemire says he might play out contract
DENVER – Amar’e Stoudemire(notes) has a few words for anyone who thinks it’s a given that he’ll hit the free-agent market this summer.
Not … so … fast.
Stoudemire said Wednesday he is seriously considering postponing his free agency to take the $17.7 million player option on his contract for next season.
“There’s definitely a chance,” Stoudemire told Yahoo! Sports following the Phoenix Suns’ shootaround on Wednesday morning. “Options are a beautiful thing.”
The Suns are also assessing their options with their All-Star forward. NBA sources say the team is expected to make another contract extension offer to Stoudemire before the All-Star break, though it remains to be seen whether the Suns’ offer will approach the three-year, $57 million extension Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol(notes) received earlier this season.
Already, the Suns have begun fielding trade offers for Stoudemire, who said Wednesday he thinks there’s a “50-50” chance he’ll be playing for a different team after the Feb. 18 trade deadline. If Stoudemire doesn’t agree to an extension soon, the Suns could intensify their efforts to move him.
One NBA source said the Suns, so far, have received only “trash” offers for Stoudemire, though there are several teams who have expressed interest in him. The Miami Heat recently scouted two of the Suns’ games, even though the teams won’t play each other again this season.
Stoudemire has reasons to stay in Phoenix; he has close family and business interests there. But he also said it “won’t be tough” for him to adjust to a new team if he’s traded.
“I want to win,” Stoudemire said. “Winning is my ultimate goal. That’s my preference. I think the situation here, we’ve been doing a good job the past few games of winning. We just need to keep it going.”
If Stoudemire opts out of his contract, he will join a crowded free-agent class that includes LeBron James(notes), Dwyane Wade(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes). If he elects to play the final season of his contract – and passes on an extension – he’ll become a free agent the summer of 2011 and could have a better idea about the Suns’ future plans.
“We’re just going with the flow and seeing what the Suns decide to do,” said Stoudemire’s agent, Happy Walters. “Whatever happens, I think Amar’e will be good with the outcome. … Opting in – that’s a lot of money to walk away from.”
The current collective bargaining agreement is set to end after the 2010-11 season, but Stoudemire doesn’t seem concerned about a possible lockout or how the new CBA might impact his future earnings.
“I’m not sure how the CBA’s going to turn out,” Stoudemire said. “But I got confidence in the Players Association. They are going to make sure they handle that.”
This much is clear: Stoudemire figures to be swept up by speculation as the trade deadline approaches. He recently averaged 14.3 points over a three-game stretch, and was benched by Suns coach Alvin Gentry during the fourth quarter of a victory over the Dallas Mavericks. Gentry thought the trade talk was beginning to affect Stoudemire, who has since bounced back by averaging 30.5 points over the Suns’ previous two games.
“I just told him there is not anything that he could control and I can control,” Gentry said. “The only thing we can control is to get him playing at the high level he was. Eventually, whatever happens is going to happen. To spend time worrying about it and put him in a position where he’s not performing is not good for him anyway. He has to put that behind him, which is not easy to do when his name is out there all the time. But it’s something he has to do.”
Stoudemire admits this isn’t new for him. Despite being a five-time All-Star, he has been repeatedly mentioned in trade rumors over the past few seasons. One rival general manager said the Suns’ willingness to include Stoudemire in such talks should make teams all the more wary about trading for him. Stoudemire also has had major eye and knee surgeries in past seasons.
Asked why he is constantly mentioned in trade speculation, Stoudemire said: “I don’t know. You have to ask the Phoenix Suns organization. You have to ask [Suns GM] Steve Kerr or [owner] Robert Sarver that question. … I’m not sure.”
Recent article adding to this subject of Amare.
Reckon he might well be traded very soon and the Suns would smart to do so, instead of trusting that Amare won't opt out after this season
migya make the ring fall on ya
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I get the feeling that what Amar'e is saying about keeping his options open is just a ploy. A last ditch effort to control his destiny and decide where he lands this summer, instead of being forced to go play wherever Phoenix would trade him at the deadline.
I think so as well and it is a smart move by him. Really think Phoenix needs to trade him now or they'll likely lose him for nothing
migya make the ring fall on ya
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