It's looking like he's as good as gone from Phoenix, so here are a few possibilities as to where he may end up, thanks to the ESPN.com Trade Machine and my ingenious mind.
Atlanta Hawks get: Amare Stoudemire
Phoenix Suns get: Marvin Williams, Acie Law, Zaza Pachulia, Othello Hunter, first round draft choice
Atlanta's interest in making this work is obvious. Amare would step in and be the man for that offense, something that likely wouldn't bother Joe Johnson, who seems more comfortable as a 1a or a #2 type player. As for the Suns, they get a rapidly improving Marvin Williams and a great backup point guard in Law (who could also be their long term choice at the position). Throw in Pachulia's expiring $4 million deal and a 1st round pick, and you have a decent package for a guy you've all but committed to deal by the deadline.
Atlanta Hawks get: Amare Stoudemire, Steve Nash
Phoenix Suns get: Marvin Williams, Mike Bibby, Flip Murray, two first round draft choices
This one will not happen, but I still like the idea. Phoenix slashes payroll (over $27 million) for Williams, Bibby and Murray, all of whom have expiring contracts. On Atlanta's end, that team would be SCARY. Nash/Johnson/Smith/Horford/Stoudemire would be unstoppable offensively, not to mention the fact that they'd sell out every arena they play in, certainly not a bad thing with our current economic situation.
Chicago Bulls get: Amare Stoudemire
Phoenix Suns get: Joakim Noah, Tyrus Thomas, Drew Gooden, first round draft choice
I think Chicago is the most logical destination, but I'm not sure if there's a package that would make both sides happy. I think I read about this one somewhere, but I wouldn't deal Amare for this package; I think I can come up with a better deal.
Chicago Bulls get: Amare Stoudemire, Leandro Barbosa, Louis Amundson
Phoenix Suns get: Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas, Ben Gordon, Drew Gooden
Now that's more like it. The question is whether the Bulls would be willing to part with both Thomas and Deng, especially with how they've been playing the last month. Personally, I would do anything I could to pair Derrick Rose with a guy like Amare Stoudemire. Even if Deng and Thomas aren't teasing the Bulls – again – with their recent play, Rose-Stoudemire would be a franchise combination. On the flipside of this trade, the Suns would be getting two young talents and two expiring contracts (including a good player in Ben Gordon). They couldn't really ask for much more considering the league-wide perception (undeserved, for the most part) that Stoudemire isn't a team player.
Memphis Grizzlies get: Amare Stoudemire
Phoenix Suns get: Rudy Gay, Mike Conley, Hakim Warrick
I really like this trade, even though there are a few hitches. First, Phoenix doesn't get any cap relief from this deal; Warrick's $2 million is all that comes up at the end of the year. But as far as young talent goes, they won't get a better deal than this one. Conley is only 21 and can learn a lot from Steve Nash before taking over for him in 2010, and Gay is a great talent who has already proven himself to be a productive player. Pair him with Nash and his numbers can only improve.
New York Knicks get: Amare Stoudemire, Leandro Barbosa
Phoenix Suns get: Al Harrington, Nate Robinson, Malik Rose, Jerome James, first round draft choice
Obviously the Knicks will be a part of the Amare sweepstakes, how serious they'll be is anyone's guess. This was the best offer I could come up with that didn't include David Lee, because I highly doubt the Knicks' willingness to part ways with him. On Phoenix's end, all four contracts expire at the end of the year so they can chose which guys they want to resign; and they could take out Barbosa and James if they felt the names didn't add up.
Portland Trail Blazers get: Amare Stoudemire
Phoenix Suns get: Travis Outlaw, Jerryd Bayless, Raef LaFrentz, first round draft choice
Portland will always come up when a big name is on the trade market, simply by virtue of the number of valuable assets they possess on their loaded roster. This is one I read about and I somewhat like because I'm a big Bayless fan, and the more I watch Outlaw the more I'm impressed by his offensive skillset. But I created another deal between these two teams
Portland Trail Blazers get: Amare Stoudemire, Leandro Barbosa
Phoenix Suns get: LaMarcus Aldridge, Jerryd Bayless, Channing Frye, Raef LaFrentz
I don't see how Stoudemire could come in and play with Aldridge and Oden; are there really enough minutes to go around for all three of them? Simply put, no, so dealing Aldridge makes sense here (even though I'd rather move Oden… that's obviously not gonna happen). And the way I see it, Bayless' floor is to be the caliber of Barbosa, ceiling being Gilbert Arenas. And if they don't think they're getting enough, they can always substitute Travis Outlaw for Frye.
Washington Wizards get: Amare Stoudemire
Phoenix Suns get: Antawn Jamison, Nick Young, Juan Dixon
This is not that bad of a deal; Phoenix doesn't get the cap relief that they're searching for but they do get a proven all-star and a great young talent. Obviously I'm dreaming with this, and it really doesn't make much sense on the Wizards' end (and especially in relation to Gilbert Arenas, who really wouldn't be a good fit with Stoudemire). But it's a good package for Phoenix and the Wiz probably need to do something, so let's get this done!
In addition to the Amare talks, Phoenix's other all-star big man is on the block as well. I might go through a couple other options on a later date, but since I highly doubt anyone taking on Shaq and his $40 million over this year and next I'll only put forth one very interesting proposal.
Cleveland Cavaliers get: Shaquille O'Neal, Jason Richardson
Phoenix Suns get: Zydrunas Ilgauskas, JJ Hickson, Wally Szczerbiak, Eric Snow
How crazy would this deal be? And the scariest part of it is, it's not that farfetched by any means. Ilgauskas is a very good player, a reliable starter at the center spot. Hickson is, by all accounts, going to be a very good player. He's only 20 years old so he'd fill that young prospect requirement that Phoenix is looking for in any deal. And Szczerbiak's and Snow's contracts come off the books at the end of the season, clearing $20+ million. Meanwhile, take a look at Cleveland's starting five now: Mo Williams, Jason Richardson, LeBron James, Ben Wallace, Shaquille O'Neal. That's an intimidating team, a championship team. They'd be making a huge stride towards showing LeBron that they're dead serious about winning a title, and Shaq's massive contract is finished in time for that magical 2010 offseason. The one hitch that I see is this (taken from the trade machine): "Trade/Claim: If a team is over the cap and receives a player in a trade or claims a player off of waivers, they cannot trade the player in combination with other players for 2 months. The player can be traded by himself." Meaning they'd have to isolate the Richardson for Szczerbiak part of the trade, but having seen the crazy deals where people get traded and come back to the team a week later, I'd be surprised if that little rule couldn't be sidestepped.
That's all for now, more to come soon.