When I check out the rumor mill on a daily basis and find both Andre Iguodala and Amare Stoudemire with prominent placements, I get worried. After the jump I'll tell you why.
This isn't going to turn into a debate on whether Iguodala is a better player than Stoudemire, I have my feelings on it and I'm sure most of you do as well. If this was a straight up deal in a vacuum, that would be the debate, but this is not that. Phoenix want players, picks and cap relief. While they can't really offer any of the last category, they can absolutely offer the first two.
Before we talk about how a deal could be structured, I want to talk about what trading for Stoudemire means.
- Either (a) the Sixers will work out a max extension for Stoudemire (I don't think he would stay in Philly for less than the max), or (b) he's going to walk after the rest of this season.
- The Sixers will have Elton Brand, Sam Dalembert and Amare Stoudemire in their front court for the short term, Amare and Brand for the foreseeable future. Sammy and Amare may work, I'm not sure Brand/Amare does.
- Having Amare on the floor weakens your defense, considerably. If you plan to compete with him on the floor, you absolutely must have excellent defenders surrounding him and a coach who can devise a system that will effectively hide Amare's deficiencies.
- Trading your best defender for an all-offense, no D big (no matter how talented he is), is a clear indication that this team is being remade to fit Eddie Jordan's system. I can't begin to tell you how big of a mistake I believe that is.
Now, what would the deal look like? Here's my best guess.
- Sixers receive Amare Stoudemire
- Phoenix receives Andre Iguodala, Marreese Speights, 2010 first-round pick (possibly top-three protected)
If you're getting Stoudemire, losing Speights isn't that big of a deal. There wouldn't be minutes for him anyway, and their skills are basically redundant. The pick is the killer here, for me, and I don't think there's any way Phoenix would do the deal unless they got an asset of this kind of value in return. Trading Amare wouldn't be purely to save money, because the most money they could save would be to just let him walk at the end of the season. If they're going to move him, they're going to want to accomplish two things (1) Keep a winning team on the floor for the foreseeable future, (2) Accomplish number one for less money than it would cost to re-sign Amare. Enter Iguodala, Speights and a high draft pick.
My concern isn't necessarily that Iguodala, Speights and the pick are too much to pay, it's what we're paying for. In one scenario, we're giving up those three guys for the right to give Stoudemire a max contract. In the other, we're giving up those three guys simply to get Iguodala and Speights off the books next season. Neither seems like a wise move to me, though I'm sure "Sixers Trade For Stoudemire" would make a sexy headline, possibly boost attendance and give Eddie Jordan exactly the type of player he's been salivating for since he took over. The trade deadline simply can't get here soon enough for me.