After discussions with Amare Stoudemire’s agent that didn’t appear destined to lead to a contract extension, the Phoenix Suns have increased their efforts to trade the All-Star forward before the February 18 trade deadline, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Sunday night.
The Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets are among multiple teams that have a strong interest in Stoudemire, sources say. The Arizona Republic is reporting that the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers have also inquired about Stoudemire. Major hang-ups in a possible deal are the Suns’ need to get good value in return and the other teams’ need to feel secure in knowing it has a chance to keep Stoudemire, who can opt out of his contract this summer. The Suns want a combination of young talent, salary-cap relief and draft picks for him. Phoenix is currently $4.8 million into the luxury tax threshold. Losers of five of their last seven games, the Suns have a tenuous grasp on the seventh spot it the race for the Western Conference playoffs.
According to the Yahoo report:
With Stoudemire having undergone knee and eye surgeries in recent years, there are differing perspectives on his market value. Nevertheless, Stoudemire has made a strong comeback from eye surgery this season – averaging 20.9 points and 8.6 rebounds – and impressed rival executives and scouts. Stoudemire has been inclined to use Pau Gasol’s three-year, $57 million contract extension as a parameter for negotiations.