Amar’e To Stay Put in Phoenix

By Trevor Savage — 02/22/2010
It looks as though Amar’e Stoudemire isn’t going anywhere. Thursday, Suns owner Robert Sarver announced the All-Star center isn’t likely to be traded before Thursday’s 3 PM trade deadline. Stoudemire has not voiced an opinion either way about being traded, and says he feels relieved he is no longer being shopped around.
Stoudemire announced that he felt safe with his situation, and that he would remain professional and play hard for whatever team he played with.
The Cleveland Caveliers led the pursuit of Stoudemire in the last few weeks, but pulled out of the running when Phoenix seemed unwilling to commit to a trade. Cleveland instead worked a trade with the Wizards, sending Zydrunas Ilgauskas and his expiring $11.5 million contract to Washington in exchange for Antawn Jamison.
Stoudemire’s play seems to have benefited from the trade talks. Over the past seven games he has averaged 26.6 points and 11.7 rebounds. Stoudemire said that the trade talks bothered him for awhile during the season, but his ultimate goal was still to win basketball games. He said that kept him playing at a high level.
The Miami Heat are his only remaining suitor at this point, but Miami’s unwillingness to part with Michael Beasley has halted negotiations and it seems unlikely the two teams will be able to compromise in time.
Phoenix owes Stoudemire $17.7 million next season, but he can opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Heat must now wait for his decision, with the hope luring him to Miami in the offseason to play with All-Star guard Dwayne Wade.
Phoenix had been trying to acquire the Philadelphia’s Andre Iquodala in exchange for Stoudemire, but the 76ers refused to let go of Iquodala, even if Phoenix also took on Samuel Dalembert’s expiring contract.
Now that it looks as though he will not be traded, Stoudemire may look for a long-term deal with Phoenix. He announced that he could possibly stay with the Suns for another five years, or possibly be somewhere else for five years. But ultimately, he said, his goal is to win a championship.