Amar'e Stoudemire trade scenarios still plausible for Suns

Paul Coro

On this final march to the Feb. 18 NBA trade deadline, there is no
imminent Amar’e Stoudemire trade, but a deal with major franchise
implications remains quite possible.

The Suns’ most frequently mentioned potential trade partners are Cleveland and Philadelphia.
A trade prospect with Cleveland combines a financial windfall and a young, promising power forward replacement in J.J. Hickson, whom the Suns liked in the 2008 draft when they tabbed center Robin Lopez. Phoenix would stand to save several million dollars
in a deal involving center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who received most of his salary up front and could be bought out to move Phoenix toward the possibility of being a luxury tax recipient rather than payer.

Possibilities with Philadelphia could be stronger with two fronts, a deal between bringing in swingman Andre Iguodala for Stoudemire with perhaps young power forward Marreese Speights or a three-way deal involving Detroit with Pistons guard Ben Gordon winding up in Philadelphia and the Suns getting Iguodala and Detroit power forward Chris Wilcox. The rub with Iguodala, a 26-year-old former Arizona star, is inheriting a contract that will pay him $56.5 million over the next four seasons.

Stoudemire’s declaration that he is leaning toward picking up next season’s $17.7 million option also has muddied the trade waters for teams who like him as an expiring deal.

The Suns have not been interested in other teams’ inquiries about Lopez.

"We’ve shown that we’re a good team," guard Steve Nash said. "We’ve shown glimpses that we can be a really good team. It’d be nice to continue to work at it together."

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