What does Amar'e Stoudemire want?
What does Phoenix want?
Can they coexist?
I say they cannot. If we really think about it, Amar'e Stoudemire does not want to stay in Phoenix.
I remember February 2009. I remember rumors of Shaq for Ben Wallace, Amar'e for Ben Wallace, Amar'e for Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo, Amar'e pretty much everywhere. We were convinced he was leaving town. Steve Kerr kept him. Shaq left.
I remember February 2010. I remember rumors Amar'e for Ben Wallace, Amar'e to Chicago, Amar'e for Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo, etc. He still didn't get moved.
Is it fair to Amar'e Stoudemire to keep throwing around rumors that he's going to get traded? If we keep the current core together, we won't win a championship. The Lakers are clearly better than us. They play better defense and at times, when Kobe goes off for 55, better offense. Amar'e knows that. Amar'e also doesn't want to get rumored at a trade every five minutes because of the fact that we can't win with him and he can't win with us. This is the main reason he will leave. It's only fair that he have a safe job. It's only fair that the average person have a job that doesn't get threatened every five minutes.
What will he do? It makes the most sense, to me, that he will leave. Where will he go? Here are my thoughts:
Houston- Houston has a legitimate chance at becoming a contender with Yao back in the mix. Throw in Amar'e in a sign and trade and they could be deadly.
Denver- They like to win. They have lots of sign and trade options (Kenyon Martin, Nene) that could work real nicely. Chauncey and Melo have a great foundation around them. Throw in George Karl and Amar'e and that team could work. (Or, they could trade us Melo, which would be even nicer, but also impossible).
Chicago- My thoughts are that it's a young core with a high chance of winning a championship eventually (Rose, Deng, Noah). They can only afford one free agent, and if it's not LeBron it could easily be STAT.
Miami- Amar'e is a Floridian by birth. He would love to play with Dwyane Wade (who wouldn't?), who will probably up there, and be near his hometown all at the same time.
Dallas- Dirk and Amar'e could do a switcheroo. Dirk may want to come to Phoenix and Dallas is a loaded team that would love Amar'e Stoudemire. Cuban would prefer Dirk, I would imagine, but perhaps that'll be tough crap on Cuban.
New York- Mike D'Antoni is in New York, who loves Amar'e Stoudemire. They could also end up with a Wade or a Joe Johnson (or a LeBron?)
Toronto- The Colangelo family has a vested interest in Amar'e Stoudemire. Jerry Colangelo is the guy on the Olympic committee. Bryan Colangelo, his son, is the GM of Toronto. If Bosh leaves (which he will), Toronto will probably throw the most money at STAT out of anyone. Most likely, they'll throw us Hedo, who would be an amazing addition to the team if he regained his '08-'09/'07-'08 form. They could sign and trade, though, which would probably equal Barbosa/Stoudemire/first rounder or cash for Bosh/Hedo, if Bosh was willing (which is possible...we do win some games).
So we've established that he will probably leave, and he will probably want to go to one of those teams. New York, Miami and Toronto seem the most likely, probably in that order. The question is: if you're Steve Kerr, how do you get a return on investment?
Amar'e could agree to a sign and trade. We can sign him for the most money out of anyone because he's our free agent.
Or he could not, and we couldn't sign a Dirk or anyone back. This presents a problem. We get worse and have to wait a while before we can improve. We have, essentially, until the end of Steve Nash's contract to win a championship. Then? It's rebuilding time.
We have to eventually.
This summer is do or die. It's up to the mind of Amar'e Stoudemire to tell us where to go from here.