It appears as if our Amare dreams are over
So says Marc Stein:
After the Suns spent several days taking and making phone calls on potential trades for Amare Stoudemire and Shaquille O'Neal, NBA front-office sources told ESPN.com that Phoenix -- having received a series of underwhelming proposals for Stoudemire -- now prefers to leave its core intact for the rest of the season to see if new coach Alvin Gentry can do more with this group than the outgoing Terry Porter.Now, quickly, here's a passage from today's ST story (which includes a surely bogus Chris Bosh rumor from the only paper in town that jumped to confirm Peter Vecsey's PAX IS QUITING NOW story, which looks like it isn't exactly happening) that really bothered me:
Various reports indicate the Suns have been underwhelmed by the offers they have received for Stoudemire, 26. Teams believe Phoenix has little leverage because it needs to shed Stoudemire's contract to get under the $71.15 million salary cap and avoid paying the luxury tax of $1 for every $1 over the limit.From Day One, my biggest fear was that this deal wouldn't happen because the Bulls wouldn't want to include both Tyrus and Noah. I know there are a lot of people who think that would be giving up too much (including probably 85 percent of the BaB community), but if Amare Stoudemire can be had for only Gooden-Noah-Tyrus-Draft pick, I still think that's a no-brainer for the Bulls. Noah is surely valuable, but you can find guys that do what Joakim Noah does a lot easier than you can find someone who does what Amare Stoudemire does. And, especially at this point, does Noah even do what he does well?
This is my biggest problem with Paxson/Reinsdorf: from the coaching search, to the trades they've pursued in the past, to the Deng-Gordon contract extensions, it always seems like the Bulls won't ever make a deal that the organization doesn't inherently feel it has "won". It leaves them coming off like cheap losers, and it's cost this franchise before in the past (with D'Antoni) and now it looks like it's going to happen again.
Sometimes you need to knock someone's socks off with a great offer. That's what they should have done with D'Antoni - they thought they had all leverage so Pax/Reinsdorf waffled on an offer, and when they weren't looking Mike D had run to New York. The Bulls should have sat down with D'Antoni, told him he was the man they wanted to run their team, made him a sound offer and let him run the show his way. Instead we got reports of Reinsdorf ending their final meeting saying something like "you know, we've won six championships with defense". I'm sure that rubbed D'Antoni the wrong way, then combine that with what was certainly a less than stellar contract offer, and that's how we got to fucking Vinny Del Negro.
I feel like this Amare biz is somewhat similar. I really think the Suns would go for the Bulls' offer if Noah is included, but the Bulls probably feel like they have the best offer regardless, so why should they sweeten the pot? Because sometimes you can't take chances, you just need to grab the proverbial bull by the proverbial horns and make something happen.
The Bulls never make anything happen, and it's infuriating.