Thornton is Available! How about Amare to the Clippers?

PHX gets Marcus Camby ($9.1m), Craig Smith ($2.5m) and Al Thornton (1.9m) = $13.3 m

LA gets Amare Stoudemire ($16.3m)

Why the Clippers do it?

Getting Amare for the rest of this year would give the clips the best chance of making the playoffs as an 8 seed. A team with him, Baron, Gordon, Kaman and Butler can easily run off 10 straight wins and be right in the race. This is important since making the playoffs this season would be huge for LA both basketball wise and money wise. Each game would bring in millions of dollars for Donald Sterling while getting the clips more national tv exposure. 

The clippers are also heavily under the cap this summer and would target a prime free agent such Amare anyway in a few months, so why not pull the trigger and get a deal done. I think that Amare would be willing to resign with the clips based on how much talent that have assembled. He would be a great mentor for Griffin as he gets back from knee surgery.

With this trade the Clips can post a line up of Baron, Gordon, Griffin, Amare and Kaman next season. That is down right scary! And if Amare chooses not resign with them the trade saves them money by getting rid of his $17 m next season and Thorton's 2.8. This leaves that with just $36m in payroll for next season and about $18m available to spend on free agents.  Therefore, they can use that cap room on another prime free agent. It seems like a great move for the clips.

Why the Suns do it?

This trade would serve two principle interest for the suns that have been expressed by the team.

First, it would save money b/c Camby and Smith both have expiring contract worth around 12 m. Plus because the suns would be taking back $13.5 m in the trade while sending away $16.3 m, they would save $3 off the payroll this season which means that Sarver would only have to pay about $2 million in luxury tax. Additionally, that $2 m dollar expenditure can likely be made up by the team since a lineup of Nash, Jrich, Hill, Smith and Camby with a bench of Dragic, Barbs, Dudley/Thornton, Lou and Lopez would have a terrific chance of not only making the playoffs but even wining a series this season. Camby and Smith will give the Suns the much needed defense and rebounding that they lack while Thornton will provide scoring off the bench that they have missed this year with LB out. I would also expect Jrich and Hill to pick up their scoring to make up for amare's 21 ppg. 

Second, the trade would also give the Suns some promising young talent in Thornton and Smith (assuming they can resign Smith) while making them a significant free agent player as early as this summer. This is so because the Suns payroll would drop from $62m to about $48m this summer. With the cap likely being set to $53m or so the Suns would have around $5m to spend on a free agent if no other changes occur to the roster.

However, I think it is likely that if the Suns trade Amare, Hill would be gone next season as well since i don't he wants to rebuild with much younger team then this years. Additionally. I think there is a good chance that Frye opts out of his contract this summer since he can probably get more than $2m on the open market based on the year he has had. The departures of Hill and Frye would drops the Suns payroll next year to $43 m, exactly $10m under the cap. With $10m dollars to play with the suns could get a 2nd tier free agent such as a david lee/ boozer to replace amare.

This would give them a projected lineup of Nash, Jrich, Thornton, Lee/Boozer, Lopez for next season with a bench of Dragic, LB, Dudley, maybe Lou and Clark. I think that lineup is very promising and definitely a better alternative than the JJ Hickson trade (the guy is no Amare). 

What do you all think?

If anyone has Kerr's number please text him and tell him to call Dunlevey to pull this deal. 

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