I have to admit I've been back and forth on Amare Stoudamire-that is, do I want him on my beloved Phoenix Suns team or not. I've thought of him as a fan and how I love to watch his posterizing dunks and sweet 17 foot jumper that looks so automatic sometimes, and how the Nash/Stoudamire pick and roll is a beautiful weapon.
I've also thought of Amare Stoudamire as an employee. If I am Kerr and Sarver, do I want to make a gigantic investment in a guy with his injury history and personality characteristics. And I have to tell you, as much as I would enjoy his offensive production I would be concerned about (of course) his lack of defensive commitment. But more than the tired discussion we've heard so many times about Amare's lack of D are the things he says and does, or, doesn't do for that matter.
I am sure I am not the only conflicted fan out there. But today, it all came together for me and for once, it is very clear what is happening:
Amare is going to leave. Kerr and Co definitely want him gone. It is just a matter of time. The evidence:
-Steve Kerr has made it very clear about his desire to have Nash back. He even flew to NY to talk to him about the future of the squad, and maybe um, his advice about a few other things.
-It is widely proclaimed G. Hill is the Suns #1 free agent target. Today Kerr is in Orlando, and he's not there to play golf with Tiger Woods.
-We have even heard about other potential targets: McDyess, Wilcox and others-all big men, all potential replacements to fill a PF gap.
-Has Kerr commented much (if at all) about Amare except the rumors of trading him to GS (which he states vaguely were only rumors)? Certainly there has been no public assurance or vote of confidence to Amare or us fans that we can rest easy those draft day rumors were only unsubstantiated rumors and "B.S."
-Stoudamire's agent has come out publicly to request what in the world is going on. "Are we getting traded, are we getting a new deal? What do I tell my client, he won't stop calling."
I add all of this up and to me it is clear they want to dump Amare but they just haven't found the right deal. Further, Kerr can't afford the fan fall out if Amare gets dealt for anything but a load of young talent or proven veterans that can keep us somewhat competitive until we have the cap space to sign a big name or two and draft a new core of quality players. And that is the only way I see Stoudamire play for the Suns this season, if a decent deal cannot be made.
So Suns fans, I put it to you, will Amare play for the Suns next season?