I am pretty sure we are going to need a rumor index here to keep track of all the various deals being batted around. Just like it was with the trade deadline, the rumor volume only going to increase as draft day gets closer.
This one from Hoopsworld has Amare going to the Wizards for Antawn Jamison, the expiring useless contract of Mike James and the #5 pick. Frankly, this seems more like speculation and idea then actual rumor of real discussions between the two teams. But heh, it's an interesting topic so let's discuss.
In this deal the Suns would be giving up Amare's $16.4m due this season and take on Jamison's and James' combined $18.1m plus the $2.7m for the #5 pick which means the Suns would be adding $4.4m in payroll next year at a time they are looking to cut.
Obviously, this is a much better deal financially for the Suns if Mike James is not included and some other smaller contract is instead used to make the numbers match.
For the Wizards
This is a great deal for the Wiz in that they get Amare for at least one season with the possibility of resigning him to play with Gilbert, Butler and their youngsters. Amare is a flashier player of course and younger but is still low risk because at this point he's not under contract beyond 2011. The best part though, is they clear the dead weight of James and they save some money. This why I imagine the Mike James contract will be a sticking point.
Would the Wizards be willing to make this deal if it was just Jamison, the #5 and a smaller contract like Stevenson or Songalia?
For the Suns
Jamison is a great player if a bit undersized for the PF position but that's never stopped him from rebounding well. Despite his size, he's only averaging .9 fewer rebounds then Amare on their respective careers.
In the short term, Jamison is a great fit with Nash, Hill and Shaq. The question is the next two years where his contract escalates to $15m in 2012 when he will be 35 years old. Everything I know about the guy says that he's a great teammate and has a solid work ethic. He's been durable so there's no reason to think that he can't play well until that age. At that point in his career he would probably be over paid for his relative production but $15m for a 35 y/o Jamison isn't horrible in comparison to lots of other contracts out there.
The #5 pick is the other prize. That would get the Suns another solid young player and would give them the option of trading the #14 pick for a pick next year or perhaps packaging it in some other way. It all depends on how the Suns are feeling about the guys they are seeing at that spot.
As mentioned twice now, the main problem with the deal is Mike James. While Songalia or Stevenson are signed for one additional year and each has a larger total contract, their salaries in 2010 are less of an issue since the Suns won't be saddled with Shaq's $21m.
My bottom line:
If this deal could be done without James then I am for it. If the Wizards insist on including James then I don't know if taking on the additional cost is worth it. Certainly not before I know what else is out there.