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.
But Amare might not want to come here.
Another twist: Stoudemire came out Wednesday claiming that he was leaning toward not exercising the early termination option on his contract. While he talked about the financial benefits of doing so (he's due $17.7 million next season in the final year of his contract), there's another reason Stoudemire went public about this: He wants some control over where he might be traded to. Philly -- a struggling team that sees Stoudemire as more an asset with a potentially expiring contract than as a cornerstone -- would likely be less interested if Stoudemire were planning to play out his contract. Therefore, when Stoudemire heard about the possible trade with the 76ers, he expressed his reservations about being traded to Philadelphia by going public with his musings about staying with his contract. In other words, he's sending a warning to teams that might see him as nothing more than an expiring contract.
Ford ranks Iguodala as the fifth likely player to be traded.
I've struggled to accept the idea that the 76ers would give away Iguodala, their best player, no matter how desperate they are to cut payroll. But in NBA front offices, the word is that he is very much available. Of course, Philly's hope is to get rid of the contract of Samuel Dalembert in such a deal.
A source told ESPN.com on Wednesday that the Houston Rockets have recently renewed discussions with the 76ers about a deal involving Iguodala and Dalembert for the expiring contract of Tracy McGrady. And as I reported above, the Suns have also entered the mix, offering Amare Stoudemire for Iguodala and Dalembert. The Cavs and Dallas Mavericks have explored Iguodala deals as well.
Slowing discussions at the moment is the fact that the Sixers really want to get some talent back in such a deal. The Rockets have players to offer, and the Suns might be willing to throw in Leandro Barbosa, I'm told.
So while the Sixers are motivated to move Iguodala, I think it's going to take more than an expiring contract to land him in the end.
And Dalembert as the tenth likely.
For the most part Dalembert has been paired with Andre Iguodala in trade talks with the Rockets, Suns and Mavs. But there is a fair share of interest in Dalembert himself. Yes, he is overpaid, but his contract expires in 2011, he is a defensive force and he can run the floor.
While his 15 percent trade kicker is a problem, expect interest to continue to grow. Sacramento might be at the front of the line, given its trade assets and need for a defensive center.
Here's a few excerpts from ESPN's Rumor Central:
ESPN's Chad Ford wrote today that the Sixers and Suns have discussed that packaged swap, and that the Suns are intriguied by it, more so than any other offers for Stoudemire.
Apparently the Suns like the Sixers offer.
The Sixers could receive Amare Stoudemire in return, though it's uncertain whether he'd want to re-sign with them or they want to re-sign him. If not, such a move would still clear cap space for them if Stoudemire opts out.
If the Sixers are thinking about trading for Amare just to let him walk, they should stop. Why not trade Andre and Sam for another expiring like Howard and at least get a couple picks or talent back?
...According to Ford, the Sixers are hot after [Amare] and are offering Andre Iguodala and Samuel Dalembert.
Seems like conflicting reports to me. One source says the Sixers are "hot after Amare" and the other says "it's the Sixers that are holding up the deal." Yet it sounds like Amare's the one holding up a deal?