Are the Spurs Trying to Trade For Amare Stoudemire?
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, they’re giving it a shot:
Multiple league sources say the Spursâ€™ front office has researched and debated pursuing Stoudemire to play alongside Tim Duncan.
There are questions for the Spurs to answer: Would they be willing to part with the personnel â€“ including possibly Manu Ginobili â€“ to make a deal happen?
Do the Spurs want to re-sign Stoudemire to a contract extension and swell their payroll?
Do they believe Stoudemire could be the difference for their fifth championship?
All questions with no clear answers for the Spurs â€“ yet.
Nevertheless, the possibility of an athletic, offensive force like Stoudemire has become too irresistible to easily dismiss. The Spurs (25-18) have lost five of their past six games, and have fallen into sixth place in the Western Conference.
â€œThey know theyâ€™ve got to do something,â€ says a source familiar with the front officeâ€™s thinking. â€œThey feel like theyâ€™ve got to at least look at this â€¦ and they are.â€
A straight up swap of Manu and Stoudemire won’t work, salary-wise, so the Spurs will have to give up more than just the Argentinian. And considering a trade like this would put Phoenix in immediate rebuilding-mode next season, the Spurs will most likely have to part with one of their younger pieces, namely George Hill, DeJuan Blair, Malik Hairston and/or Ian Mahinmi.
One scenario is sending Manu, Ian Mahinmi, and Matt Bonner and his expiring contract to Phoenix for Stoudemire. This all depends on the Suns’ opinion of Mahinmi, of course.
If the trade occurs, it gives the Spurs one of the most talented and imposing front lines in the league, and provides an immediately more athletic core. A fast break of Tony Parker (even with plantar fasciitis), Richard Jefferson and Stoudemire could rival any in the league. Also to note, Stoudemire is a fantastic pick-and-roll player on offense. And the pick-and-roll is, of course, the bread and butter of the NBA.
But what happens to the defense?
Amare Stoudemire is not a highly regarded defender, other than his shot blocking from a position of help defense, so concerns on the defensive end are justified. Stoudemire, though, could alleviate the problems the Spurs have faced when playing small ball, giving the Spurs the flexibility to have the athleticism of small ball, while sporting the two towers of yore.
The Amare-to-the-Spurs rumor is just that right now, a rumor. It comes from a very reliable source, but at this point, it is still a rumor. As inconsistent as the Spurs have been this season, it is irresponsible for the front office not to inquire when a talent such as Stoudemire is available. It could cost San Antonio a folk hero and an identity, but is the payoff worth it? There are an extraordinary amount of variables at play here. What say you Spurs fans?