CLEVELAND -- The Phoenix Suns have engaged in trade talks with at least five or six teams, including the Pistons, Bulls, Nets, and Warriors, in their efforts to find the best offer for Amare Stoudemire, multiple league sources told CBSSports.com.
In the past 48 hours, the Suns' posture on Stoudemire has advanced from accepting calls to placing them, an indication that they've accelerated efforts to pull off sweeping changes before the Feb. 19 trade deadline.
The Pistons view Stoudemire as a good fit, according to a person with knowledge of the dialogue between the teams, and have the kind of assets Phoenix would be interested in -- large expiring contracts (Allen Iverson and Rasheed Wallace), young players with reasonable contracts (Jason Maxiell, Amir Johnson), and draft picks (three extra second-rounders and an extra first-rounder acquired in other trades).
Chicago also is a desirable destination, and the Bulls could offer Larry Hughes' $13.7 million deal expiring after next season. Plus, Chicago has the largest expiring trade exception ($5.2 million) in the league. The Nets have three first-rounders in upcoming drafts, but don't seem convinced that Stoudemire is the right fit, which would be a key component of any deal. Since Stoudemire has an early termination clause after the 2009-10 season, any team that acquires him would have to view him as its max free-agent signing in the summer of 2010.
UPDATE: Golden State also has had discussions with the Suns about Stoudemire, a person familiar with the talks said Sunday night -- although the Bay Area doesn't seem to be a likely destination.
"You'd have to have a deal in place to re-sign him," one rival executive said. "You'd have to have great interest and think he’s the guy for you."
Other teams believed to be in the mix for Stoudemire are Miami, Dallas, and possibly the Raptors, who are looking for other avenues to unload Jermaine O'Neal's $22 million contract for next season after talks with Miami about an O'Neal-for-Shawn Marion swap fizzled.
UPDATE: Several curious teams have called Toronto about Chris Bosh, two people with knowledge of the discussions said Friday night. But it's not clear whether the Bosh talks have involved Stoudemire, and to this point, Toronto's response has been that Bosh is not available.
As CBSSports.com first reported Friday, Phoenix also is seeking offers for Shaquille O'Neal, whose resurgence has not stemmed the Suns' inconsistency under first-year coach Terry Porter.