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Suns Practice Report: Gentry Says Suns Aren't Trying To Trade Amare Stoudemire

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Grant Hill and Steve Nash have both expressed their admiration for Amare Stoudemire and a desire to continue playing with him. (Photo by Max Simbron)
Grant Hill and Steve Nash have both expressed their admiration for Amare Stoudemire and a desire to continue playing with him. (Photo by Max Simbron)

Gentry Says Suns Aren't Trying to Trade Amare Stoudemire

Asked after practice how he felt about the current offers coming in for Amare, Coach Gentry said that he's not directly involved in the negotiations and couldn't comment but he went on to say this,

"I think it's important to know that we are not trying to trade Amare, but you listen to everything. If you hear Steve (Kerr) talk, of course he's going to listen to all the offers and stuff but we're not going to do anything that's not beneficial to our team.

"I think it's important to know that everybody here likes Amare. As I said earlier this year, I think he's been the best teammate he's been since I've been here. I think he's tried to do everything the coach asked him to do. Everything I've asked him to do, I think he's tried. I think he understood and I talked to him earlier in the year. I said, 'You have to tell me if you like to be coached and you want to get better'. I've been hard on him in certain situations and he's also responded to that, too."

I tried to ask Gentry about how Amare and Shaq fit together on the floor, but he said that since Shaq's not here anymore it's irrelevant. He did go on to talk about how great LeBron is and how he can handle any spacing issues on the court.

Grant Hill Reflects on Teams and Trades

Grant Hill can always be counted on to bring wisdom and maturity to any situation. Asked to comment on Steve Nash's previously stated desire to keep this Suns team together, Hill didn't disappoint.

"In a perfect world you hope that things work out, but more importantly, I hope Amare gets as much money as he can. I want him to - he's a great player, great heart, great friend. You want to see him get the most to maximize his opportunity as an athlete. What that means, I don't know. Certainly, I love playing with him and hope that can continue but understand that he and Suns have to work things out but whatever happens I'm not in control of that. I'm sitting on the sidelines waiting to see what happens."

Prior to that, Grant talked about the emotional bonds teams form and how difficult trades and free agency can be on the players.

"The thing is, when you go, when you get into this (at the) start of the season and you come here as a whole team in late August and work together and put your body through a whole lot of punishment, but more importantly bond with one another. You become very close. It becomes like a family-like atmosphere. When you go through the highs and lows of a season -- winning on the road like we did last week and then losing together against Portland. It just bonds you. It brings you together and you become like family.

"The tough thing about this business, at least from my past, you go through that experience and guys are gone. Free agency or trades or what-have-you. It's a tough busienss in that regard. I miss Alando Tucker. Obviously he didn't play a whole lot but he was an important piece to our team, a guy that everybody loved."

Practice Notes:

  • The Suns have 10 guys available for practice today, with Nash and Amare going straight from Dallas to Memphis to Tuesday's game. Leandro Barbosa has not yet been cleared to begin basketball related work. The team is being patient and cautious and wants to see him fully recovered before putting him on the floor because the surgery was on his shooting hand.
  • Coach Gentry ran the team through defensive rotations and emphasized the need for good weak-side help against the Grizzlies bigs in the paint. He then split the group into two and played about 8 minutes of 5 on 5 scrimmage with J-Rich, Hill, Lou, Robin and Taylor G in the white jerseys and Dragic, Dudley, Frye and Clark in the black.
  • With the shot clock set at 18, the emphasis was on running into early offense and playing up tempo. Of course, part of this is just conditioning work after a long break.
  • The score was fairly close, with Dragic hitting a three to give his team an 18-17 win. Hill ran the point for his side and at one point had a classic Grant Hill break away layup rejected from behind by Earl Clark. Sweet.
  • Everyone seems relaxed and in an upbeat mode. Steve Kerr and David Griffin were there (not talking on their phones) and Kerr was seen chatting with both Lou and Dudley after practice. Not that I would read anything into that...
  • Gentry has been saying for the last several weeks that the West playoff positioning is going to continue to bounce around through the end of the season with teams in and out of the running on an almost daily basis. The Suns don't have a number in mind for games they have to win but Gentry says that the Suns have to be playing their best basketball when April rolls around.
  • Talking about the Dallas trade, Gentry seems to be more impressed with the addition of Haywood because he gives them more size and depth up front
  • Gentry continues to praise Amare's consistency over the last 4 or 6 years.
  • Gentry continues to praise Memphis coach Lionel Hollins over how he handled the Allen Iverson situation early in the season by making it known that AI wasn't going to start. Gentry thinks that really brought that team together.

Practice Audio

Links

[Note by Seth Pollack, 02/15/10 2:43 PM MST ]

Gambo and Ash at Sports 620 KTAR report that the Cavs are ready to pull the trigger and the Suns are trying to get a 1st round pick and cash out of Cleveland.

That's not really much different than what we've heard but they did add that the Suns would try and trade Ilgauskas and flip that into another young player or picks.

 

What kind of value could the Suns get for Big Z in the final minutes of the trade deadline? It would have to be a bad team that's over the luxury tax trying desperately to shed payroll and that's the Washington Wizards or the New Orleans Hornets.

After his $15% trade kicker jumps in Z's contract is about $13.2m. Maybe you can get a young player and Josh Howard from the Wizards in a deal that saves them enough money to get under the luxury tax? Maybe you can get John Salmons and Jerome James expiring in moves that saves the Bulls cap space going into the summer.

Who knows, but it is interesting to consider that the Suns might be able to flip Z's contract into something else.

The Cavs are reportedly anxious to get an answer from the Suns soon so they can move on to Jamison or Murphy if they can't get Amare. That means we should have an answer in the next 24 hours on this one.

[Note by Seth Pollack, 02/15/10 3:41 PM MST ]

Fear the Sword is happy with their front office:

I'll be honest, I'm done with the threats.  It doesn't scare me.  As a Cavaliers fan, I am proud of the work Dan Gilbert and Danny Ferry have done to try and put the best possible pieces around James.  They are doing so again.  It will not be the fault of the Cavaliers if James leaves.