Posted on: July 10, 2009 3:59 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2009 4:54 pm
Grant Hill considered plenty of issues in deciding whether to re-sign with the Suns or accept offers from the Celtics or Knicks. Paramount among them is Hill's expectation that Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire will be joining him.
"It's important for Grant that Steve be there next year," Hill's agent, Lon Babby, said on a conference call Friday. "I know they have had conversations, so I think he’s quite confident that the team that’s coming back next year is going to be a highly, highly competitive team. And obviously, that would include Steve Nash."
As for Stoudemire, who has been discussed as a possible trade chip in discussions with Golden State that emerged on draft day, Babby said, "That's certainly a concern. I wouldn't say (Hill) has been given any assurances, but I think the expectation is that (Stoudemire) will be there bext year. He has opt-out after next season, but I don’t think there’s any reason to believe he’s not going to be there next year."
Nash, scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after next season, is in discussed with the Suns about an extension that would keep him in Phoenix.
Hill, 36, accepted a one-year deal with the Suns for $3 million with an option for a second year at $3.2 million, Babby said. The Knicks, who hosted Hill in New York earlier this week for a free-agent visit, offered a one-year deal at the full mid-level exception of $5.9 million. New York also offered a two-year deal with an option for the third, but it was not at the full mid-level for all three years. A longer deal with Phoenix also was discussed, but Hill preferred the 1-year deal with an option, Babby said.
Hill also met with Celtics coach Doc Rivers at least once, spoke numerous times with team president Danny Ainge, and also spoke with Ray Allen, who also is represented by Babby. Like the Knicks, Boston offered all it was able to under the rules, but the Celtics only had the bi-annual exception of about $2 million per year available.
"He thought long and hard about the alternatives," Babby said. "He did not come to this decision easily or lightly. Each of those three places had a lot to offer and very different things to offer. That’s what made it challenging."
Posted on: June 26, 2009 1:14 am
NEW YORK -- Talks between the Suns and Warriors that would send Amare Stoudemire to Golden State picked up momentum during the NBA draft Thursday night, but stalled to the point where one executive familiar with the situation said it "likely won't happen."
The sticking point, however, was not Golden State's No. 7 pick, Stephen Curry, who was not involved in the trade as it was being constructed Thursday night, the executive said.
If the teams revisit the discussion, there is plenty of time. Andris Biedrins, who was included in the deal being discussed along with Marco Belinelli and Brandan Wright, can't be traded until July 1 because he is a base-year compensation player. Further complicating the Suns' efforts to move Stoudemire is a termination clause in his contract after next season that would require an extension with his new team for him to waive it.
Posted on: June 25, 2009 8:56 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2009 1:19 am
Discussions between the Suns and Warriors about a trade that would send Amare Stoudemire to Golden State were advancing Thursday night, two people familiar with the situation told CBSSports.com.
Posted on: June 25, 2009 11:04 am
The Rockets have been fielding plenty of inquiries about oft-injured former All-Star Tracy McGrady, whose $23.2 million expiring contract is attractive to teams looking to clear cap space for 2010.
Rockets GM Daryl Morey told the Houston Chronicle that teams have been "very aggressive" in their pursuit of McGrady, and unlike last summer, Morey is listening intently. One such scenario floated by the New York Post, has McGrady, Aaron Brooks, and Carl Landry going to Phoenix for Stoudemire and Leandro Barbosa. That's a dubious one, considering the Suns' long-held reluctance to trade Barbosa. But with Phoenix in fire-sale mode, everything appears to be on the table.
One team known to have discussed McGrady is the Knicks, whose stated plan since Donnie Walsh took over as team president has been to get the financial books in order for 2010. "They have interest," a person with knowledge of the McGrady discussions said.
Stoudemire's situation is muddled by the fact that he has a termination option in his contract after next season. Any team acquiring him would want assurances that Stoudemire would sign an extension this summer in exchange for waiving the termination clause. To this point, according to a source, Stoudemire's representation has not been brought into any trade discussions involving the four-time All-Star.
Posted on: June 22, 2009 6:33 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2009 10:08 pm
This is the one time of year when the job of an NBA executive doesn't differ much from that of an NBA writer. Half the job is trying to separate the real buzz from the B.S.
Posted on: June 18, 2009 11:42 am
I hate to keep being that guy. You know, the guy who takes a perfectly delicious and sensible trade rumor and swats it into the fourth row like Dwight Howard. Sadly, I am stopping by the BergerSphere once again just long enough to ruin your day.
As with most trade rumors this time of year -- or any time of year, frankly -- any discussion of a trade between Phoenix and Minnesota involving Amare Stoudemire and Al Jefferson is premature. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, here's how this one went down. Suns and Timberwolves officials had a discussion at the pre-draft camp in Chicago that went like this: Phoenix expressed interest in Jefferson. Minnesota indicated that it would be highly unlikely it would be willing to do a deal involving Jefferson. Phoenix asked to be informed if that were to change.
That's it. Just another day on the pre-draft rumor mill.
There will, I promise you, be some actual trades that occur between now and draft night. After the first pick -- Blake Griffin to the Clippers -- the jockeying to move down is palpable. The teams positioned from 2-7 -- Memphis, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, Washington, Minnesota, and Golden State -- have varying degrees of desire to trade out of their spots. The one team that has expressed only a lukewarm desire to trade out is Sacramento, and the Thunder aren't 100 percent averse to using their pick -- although GM Sam Presti doesn't need another young guy. Memphis, according to a source, likes Tyreke Evans and Stephen Curry, though not necessarily with the second pick. In a deep but not very top-heavy draft, the Grizzlies are said to be interested in moving down as far as No. 7. That's the theme heading into the last weekend before next Thursday night's draft. According to a team executive involved in the process, "Nobody wants to be the guy who takes somebody at [No.] 3 and passes on the next Michael Jordan at [No.] 7."
My radar tells me the Knicks are up to something, and a rival team executive confirms that New York is the rare example of a team that would consider moving up -- in this case, for either Curry or Ricky Rubio.
Strap on your trade rumor hats and give me the best you've got. The keys are on the table for a couple of days while I regroup after the Finals. Any trade rumors, reports, suggestions, or proposals that you post here will be answered.
Posted on: February 20, 2009 4:34 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2009 12:46 pm
It was all wrapped up in such a tidy little gift box for the Suns. After the embarrassing mismanagement of coach Terry Porter's firing during All-Star weekend in Phoenix, coupled with efforts to trade both Amare Stoudemire and Shaquille O'Neal, the Suns embarked on the Alvin Gentry era with a 282-point explosion in back-to-back victories of the Clippers. After the trade deadline passed Thursday, the Suns apparently were ready to leave the shameful soap opera behind and step into a sorely needed cocoon of normalcy.
They kept Amare and Shaq and at least would be able to evaluate the product on the court without the distraction of financially motivated decisions coming from their fickle owner, Robert Sarver.
Then came the news Friday that Stoudemire underwent surgery to repair a partially detached retina in his right eye, a procedure that likely will cost him the rest of the 2008-09 season. Along with it will come the conspiracy theories and second-guessing. Just what this struggling franchise needed.
Stoudemire was injured in the midst of his 42-point, 11-rebound outburst Wednesday night against the Clippers. It is the same eye that was accidentally poked by then-teammate Boris Diaw in training camp, resulting in a Kareem-like fashion statement but no major damage. Goggles wouldn't do the trick for Stoudemire this time, though. He needed a trip to the eye surgeon, Dr. Pravin Dugel, who informed the Suns that Stoudemire wouldn't be able to return to physical activity for about eight weeks. Given that the playoffs begin eight weeks from Saturday, and that the ninth-place Suns have no reason to expect they'll make it in without Stoudemire, Phoenix is back to focusing on the tough choices ahead this summer. The basketball court, alas, will not be their sanctuary.
Did the Suns know in the hours before Thursday's trade deadline that Stoudemire would be lost for the year, and does that explain why feverish trade talks surrounding the All-Star forward stopped on a dime like Steve Nash? A good theory, but largely irrelevant. Suns president Steve Kerr said at the news conference announcing Gentry's appointment to interim coach Monday that he wanted to keep the roster intact and evaluate the impact of the coaching change. The same day -- two days before Stoudemire's injury -- Nash informed reporters that he'd spoken with Kerr and asserted, "We think the team is going to stay the same."
It'll stay the same for the next 29 games, anyway. After that, Kerr, assistant GM David Griffin, and yes, Sarver, will try to figure out what to do with the $36.4 million owed to Stoudemire and Shaq next season -- nearly half the team's payroll for two guys they spent the past three weeks trying to trade.
At the same time the Suns were digesting the impact of the Stoudemire injury, Kevin Garnett was en route to Boston for an MRI on his right knee. He landed awkwardly on it Thursday night during the Celtics' 90-85 loss at Utah. Funny how karma operates sometimes; the Celtics arrived in the middle of the night -- where else? -- in Phoenix, where they're spending the next two days preparing to take on the Suns without Garnett Sunday. Garnett will be examined by team physician Dr. Brian McKeon at New England Baptist Hospital Saturday. The Celtics are optimistic it's not a long-term injury, but they've already ruled Garnett out for the next three games -- Sunday at Phoenix, Monday at Denver, and Wednesday at the Clippers.
What does all of this mean? In the West, it means your playoff field is set, because Dallas and Utah no doubt will be able to hold off the Amare-less Suns, who enter the weekend one game out of the eighth spot. In the East, it means Orlando GM Otis Smith was either resourceful, clairvoyant, or both when he pulled the trigger on a three-team trade that brought Rafer Alston to O-Town as a very capable replacement for injured point guard Jameer Nelson. A week ago, it looked as though Nelson's injury would cause the Magic to bow out gracefully from their perch among the quartet of teams capable of winning the championship. Now, they're the only one of the four who did anything significant at the trade deadline to help themselves.
The Celtics will be examining a fairly deep list of big men, including Mikki Moore (released by the Kings) and Joe Smith (who could be bought out by the Thunder). They're also in the market for a defender with length who can shoot (hey, what happened to that James Posey guy?) with Tony Allen sidelined eight weeks following thumb surgery. They have some time to evaluate their options and add someone by the March 1 deadline for playoff eligibility. Assuming Garnett's knee checks out OK, KG will be back and the Celtics will try to avoid walking into the playoffs with a limp.
UPDATE: Indeed, the Celts got welcome news Saturday when McKeon diagnosed a strained muscle behind Garnett's knee. The MRI showed no structural damage, and KG will miss 2-3 weeks.
The Suns? Once again, they're a mess. Will Amare stay or go? Does anyone want a Hall of Famer on his last legs drawing a $20 million salary? Will Nash get a chance to chase down a championship while surrounded by capable teammates? Or is he destined to play out his days as the lone box office draw on a rebuilding team?
All good questions. Let me see if I can find a pair of goggles through which I can see the future, and I'll let you know how it turns out.
Posted on: February 20, 2009 12:24 pm
Amare Stoudemire didn't get traded, but the Phoenix Suns will still have to find a way to live without him. Stoudemire underwent surgery Friday to repair a partially detached retina in his right eye and will miss about eight weeks, the team said in a news release.
“We are very glad to hear that Amare should have a 100 percent recovery relative to his vision and his long-term prognosis is excellent,” Suns president Steve Kerr said. “Obviously, it is very disappointing to lose him at this time. We are all very excited about the progress the team is making, but Amare’s health and the health of all our players is our number one concern.”
It's not clear whether the injury affected the Suns' ability to move Stoudemire at the trade deadline. In the Suns' first two games after the All-Star break, they totaled 282 points in back-to-back victories over the Clippers under new coach Alvin Gentry. Stoudemire had 42 points and 11 rebounds Wednesday night in a 142-119 victory.