NBA Trade Deadline: Amar’e Is In Full Power Broker Mode

The Suns are still in active trade talks for Amare, with discussions initiated by both the Suns and other teams. The latest is that the Suns have talked to the Philadelphia 76ers about a swap of Stoudemire plus filler for Andre Iguodala and Samuel Dalembert.

While there are a lot of deals the Suns wouldn’t do, this is one in which they’re interested. It’s the Sixers that are holding up the process, I’m told. While nothing’s imminent, if Philadelphia GM Ed Stefanski sees an opportunity to unload Dalembert and thinks Stoudemire is the best player he can get, things could get hot quickly.

At the same time, the Suns are planning to make Stoudemire a contract offer in the next few days, according to a source close to the situation. As in every contract negotiation, the contract terms (years and dollar amount) are the main obstacles — while Stoudemire might want a max contract, that’s not what the Suns want to offer.

via NBA trade season: Top 20 players most likely to be dealt – ESPN.

Ford’s article has a ton of useful information, including how Amar’e’s talk about not opting out impacts things. (By the way, that’s a bunch of crap- even if he thinks he’s not going to get a max contract, the CBA negotiations leaves open the possibility he could have a “worse” contract in 2011 versus 2010. He’s splitsville.) I hate taking this route, because there’s nothing that can be done now, but it needs to be said: This is what happens when you don’t move him once you recognize you think it’s a good idea.Now the opt-out is a mitigating factor, impacting who will move for him.

I understand the rational behind this move. Iguodala is a good player, and Dalembert (is a good player this season and) is expiring in 2011. Amar’e is expiring and it puts the Sixers in a real rebuilding mode (are you paying attention, Pacers?!). But from a basketball situation: OMGWTF4Real?

The Suns can put Iguodala and his massive-forever contract at the two guard… and bench Jason Richardson, which makes Barbosa fodder. Or they can spot Iggy at the three… which means Grant Hill is your reserve and Earl Clark is another wasted draft pick.

And the Sixers… What in hell? Brand-Amare, with Speights STILL on the bench? Just seems like a pretty random move, especially considering you’re not getting any long term pieces.

One of the problems with this trade season is that unlike previous years, none of the young, cap-free teams are shopping. OKC wants to keep its roster together organically. Portland’s already thrown in the towel on a push because the injuries have crushed them. Memphis is looking for bench help, not a full-bore upgrade (and don’t have any expirings). Minnesota’s still playing the “everything’s going to be fine! DO NOT PANIC! BE CALM AND CARRY ON!” thing.

Philadelphia might want to consider someone like Golden State. Move your established vets for short-term young players with upsides. Think of it as draft picks with shorter contracts.

Amar’e’s got this power-broker positioning thing down pat. Ford mentions that he wants assurances that Sarver will spend to contend. Which to me is kind of odd because he’s already seen Sarver’s not exactly going that route. He’s not cheap, but he’s also not going out and trying to make a home run each time out. The Shaq acquisition was offset by merchandising and other benefits. Amare’s talking about winning and not making outlandish claims. The talk about not getting a max contract is also interesting. Basically, all the 2010 (potential) free agents are playing this game very well.

Matt Moore

Matt Moore is a Senior NBA Blogger for CBSSports.com's Eye on Basketball blog, weekend editor of Pro Basketball Talk on NBCSports.com, and co-editor of Voice on the Floor. He lives in Kansas City due to an unbelievably complex set of circumstances and enjoys mid-90's pop rock, long walks on the beach and the novels of Tim Sandlin.