Tag:Amare Stoudemire
Posted on: July 10, 2009 3:59 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2009 4:54 pm

Hill back with Suns; expects Nash, Stoudemire

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

Curry not in Amare deal ... if it happens

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

Amare talks heating up; Minny dealing?

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.

Key components of the deal were still coming into focus, but both people -- one a rival executive and the other a person with knowledge of the Warriors' plans -- said the talks were serious enough for contract negotiations between Stoudemire and the Warriors to commence.

A trade sending Stoudemire to the Warriors would explain Golden State's selection of yet another combo guard, leaving open the possibility that new GM Larry Riley selected Stephen Curry for the Suns.

UPDATE: However, contrary to logic, another executive said the Warriors are keeping Curry. The pieces going to Phoenix, the executive said, would be Andris Biedrins, Marco Belinelli, and Brandan Wright. The deal can't go through until July 1, and Stoudemire needs to agree to a contract extension with Golden State, which can't be signed until July 8.

In another possible resolution to a curious draft night development, an Eastern Conference GM said there was growing belief among team executives that the Timberwolves were looking to trade one of the two point guards they selected with the fifth and sixth picks. Speculation immediately centered around the Knicks, although this executive was not familiar with a scenario that would send a package including No. 8 pick Jordan Hill to Minnesota for Rubio. More on that as it evolves.

UPDATE: A high-level source familiar with the organizational strategy of both the Knicks and Timberwolves has told CBSSports.com that Rubio is staying in Minnesota and Hill in New York. T-Wolves GM David Kahn could not be higher on Rubio, and the Knicks' brass loves Hill for the interior toughness he will bring. The Rubio-to-New York speculation isn't true.

UPDATE: Or at least it's not true from the standpoint of it actually happening. Rubio's agent, Dan Fegan, would like it to be true. But Kahn is holding his ground and holding onto Rubio, setting up a showdown with a player who could opt to stay in Spain for a couple of years rather than freeze his culito off in Minnesota.

Posted on: June 25, 2009 11:04 am

McGrady on the move?

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

Draft buzz and Amare trade talks (UPDATE)

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.

In my efforts to do so, here is what I think I know with about 72 hours left before Thursday night's draft, coming from NBA executives who think they know:

* The Wizards are as strong a bet as any team in the top eight to trade down from their current perch at No. 5. Facing luxury-tax consequences and needing to open up a roster spot, the Wiz are considering numerous scenarios. Two people familiar with the talks confirmed that Washington discussed swapping the No. 5 and No. 14 picks with Phoenix in a trade that would've sent Amare Stoudemire to the Wizards. Phoenix also would've gotten one of the Wizards' young guards -- either Nick Young or Javaris Crittenton. But Washington walked away when the Suns asked for Caron Butler.

* Word is that Portland is extremely active in its attempts to trade up from No. 24 to an area from 8-14, where the Blazers are confident they could land a point guard. Portland hosted North Carolina's Ty Lawson for a workout Monday. A person familiar with the situation said the Blazers explored a trade involving the Suns' No. 14 pick. That deal also would've involved Stoudemire, a scenario that would've presented billionaire Paul Allen with three max players to pay over the next few years -- Stoudemire, Brandon Roy, and LaMarcus Aldridge. Those are big-ticket items, even for Allen.

* The Timberwolves, who have three first-round picks, appear to be positioning themselves to move up from the sixth spot and assure themselves a shot at Ricky Rubio. A deal with Memphis, which has the No. 2 pick, isn't out of the question. Another scenario has Minnesota involved with the Wizards in a deal that would send Washington's No. 5 pick to Minnesota. The T-Wolves would then have the ultimate flexibility -- knowing they could get Tyreke Evans or Hasheem Thabeet with the fifth or sixth pick if Rubio is gone and knowing they could parlay the fifth and sixth picks in a deal with Memphis to move up.

* Other than Minnesota, the team in the top 10 that appears the most motivated to move up is the Knicks, although trade talks with Washington involving Larry Hughes are accurate only from the standpoint that Jared Jeffries isn't involved; the Wizards aren't interested in adding money beyond next season. The Knicks, who pick eighth, clearly covet Rubio and Stephen Curry and have the assets to assure themselves a shot at one of them by trading up.

* Rubio is generating the most curiosity among team executives who are monitoring his situation, particularly with regard to Sacramento. It's widely known that Dan Fegan, who represents Rubio and Jrue Holiday, hired an agent who used to work for Jason Levien, the Kings' assistant GM who left the agent business last year to join Geoff Petrie in Sacramento. Levien's clients went to three different agencies, including Fegan's. If Rubio winds up going to Sacramento with the fourth pick, it will provide plenty of ammunition for conspiracy theorists who believe Levien's relationship with Fegan was the deciding factor. But one Eastern Conference executive described the situation more as "familiarity" between Fegan and Levien and between Levien and the international basketball community. Levien worked for agent Lon Babby when the Kings drafted Hedo Turkoglu, who at the time was the only Turkish player in the NBA.

* One executive said the most fluid players appear to be Holiday (who worked out poorly in his first visit with the Knicks), Earl Clark, and Demar DeRozan. "If they don't go early," the exec said, "they might be starting to slip and slide."

* Take the Magic's insistence that they will pay luxury tax to keep Turkoglu with a grain of salt, one exec urged. "All that means is there's no way they're going to be able to keep him," he said. Babby, Turkoglu's agent, said during the NBA Finals that Turkoglu already has decided to opt out of his contract and test the unrestricted free agent market, where he will generate enormous interest.

Posted on: June 18, 2009 11:42 am

Amare for Jefferson?

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

Bad break for Suns, Celts (UPDATE)

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

Stoudemire out 8 weeks after eye surgery

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.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com