Draft, er, trade day

Paul Coro, The Arizona Republic

While you enjoy the last hour or so of Shaquille O’Neal officially being a Sun, wrap your mind around the idea of another blockbuster move that is being considered.

As the New York Post had in a report today, the Suns are talking to Houston about a trade that would involve Tracy McGrady coming to the Suns for Amare Stoudemire. Other players would be involved. The Post story said Leandro Barbosa would go to Houston with the Suns getting Carl Landry and Aaron Brooks, a point guard they fancied in the 2007 draft but sold their pick instead of taking him. Those parts would appear to have Phoenix taking on an extra $4.3 million in salary, which seems doubtful with luxury tax considerations.

McGrady is due $23.2 million in the last year of his contract this season while Stoudemire will make $16.4 million and is eligible for a contract extension later this summer. Phoenix is not willing to give him the maximum extension he desires. Stoudemire can opt out of his contract next summer and give up his player option of $17.7 million for the 2010-11 season.

We heard a rumor of Houston inquiring about this two weeks ago but it was squashed at the time. Now, it seems to have legs.

As for today, there are mixed indications about what the Suns will do. Some say they will probably stay at No. 14. Some say they might move back in the draft, feeling they could get a player of similar quality later. We continue to hear that they like Arizona swingman Chase Budinger as a late first-round pick.

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