I spent a lot of time on the show Tuesday talking about trade scenarios for Amare Stoudemire. One of them was a deal with the Boston Celtics in which the Suns might be able to land the talented point guard Rajon Rondo — a player they once drafted.
It’s no secret that the Celtics like Stoudemire, they are one of about 10 teams that have shown interest in the power forward. And it’s no secret that the Suns will be shopping Stoudemire hard once the NBA Finals are over.
The Suns have no intention of giving Stoudemire a contract extension of which he is eligible for this summer and they certainly don’t want to let him walk after next season when he has the right to opt out of his current contract. So Stoudemire will be dealt and there will be some good deals on the table to give STAT a new address. The Celtics will show interest and could put together some enticing packages. But it is unlikely that Stoudemire will be wearing green next year.
First and foremost the Suns still want Steve Nash to be the point guard on this team and want to extend him another two years. Second, in any trade involving Stoudemire they would like to get another big back. The Celtics deal I discussed centered around Rondo and Ray Allen, two guards. So while I believe Rondo can be had for the right price, I just can’t see the Suns wanting to end the Steve Nash era at this point. Remember, they still need to sell tickets to a fan base unhappy with last season’s results and dealing with a tough economy.
The most likely trade partner for the Suns is the Washington Wizards who have some good young talent on the roster as well as having the #5 pick in the upcoming draft. The Wizards have several players the Suns would be interested in, including Caron Butler, Nick Young, Andray Blatche, JaValee McGee and of course the pick. Washington could use the athleticism and size of Stoudemire up front to team with Antwan Jamison and a healthy Gilbert Arenas and give the Wizards a formidable threesome to contend in the East.
The Suns could get back a solid player in Butler, a young player with talent to groom and a top-5 pick with which to grab another young player and start the rebuilding process. This is as important an offseason as Phoenix has had since they brought in Nash and Quentin Richardson five years ago. While trading Stoudemire seems to be all but a given, the Suns absolutely must get back quality and quantity to justify the move. And in that scenario, Washington might just have the upper hand on making a deal happen.