Wednesday , Jun , 27 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Breaking Down Rumors: Kevin Garnett To Phoenix Suns, Amare Stoudemire To Atlanta Hawks, Lottery Picks To Minnesota Timberwolves

The newest Kevin Garnett rumor has the forward heading to the Arizona desert instead of Hollywood … Yes, the Suns have re-emerged as the front-runner in the K.G. sweepstakes … But they may have to trade Amare Stoudemire to Atlanta … Click here for news and analysis …

ESPN reports on a Kevin Garnett trade rumor involving Phoenix and Atlanta:

There was a growing sentiment around the league Tuesday night that the Kevin Garnett sweepstakes are nearing a conclusion and that the Phoenix Suns are the most likely winners, with two trade scenarios emerging that could potentially land Garnett in the desert by draft night.

With the Los Angeles Lakers’ attempts to construct a multi-team deal or a direct trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves collapsing, ESPN’s Jim Gray reports that talk of a potential three-team trade that would involve Minnesota, Boston and Phoenix has been rekindled, in which the primary cost to the Suns would be All-Star forward Shawn Marion moving to the Celtics.

Yet an even bigger trade concept, ESPN.com has learned, was hatched Tuesday by the Wolves, in which Phoenix would likely be asked to trade away the player it has been trying not to trade, All-NBA center Amare Stoudemire, who would go to the Atlanta Hawks.

In the newer trade scenario, sources say, Minnesota is looking to acquire Atlanta‘s No. 3 and No. 11 picks in the draft along with several cap-friendly contracts from the Hawks and Suns. To participate, Atlanta wants Stoudemire from Phoenix.

Such a trade would hold significantly greater appeal to Minnesota than any Celtics’ offer that didn’t include Jefferson. The Hawks, meanwhile, would be able to reunite Stoudemire with ex-Suns teammate Joe Johnson and immediately field a promising big-and-small core to build around and make Atlanta competitive, given the current state of the Eastern Conference.

The Suns, though, are understandably reluctant to part with Stoudemire after he made the All-NBA first team in what appears to be the most successful comeback from microfracture knee surgery that the NBA has ever witnessed.

My Quick Take: The trade talks reveal a lot about Minnesota’s rebuilding plans. The Wolves want cap space, draft picks, and young players in exchange for Kevin Garnett. They don’t want expensive veterans like . Odom’s big ticket contract contract killed the ’ chances of acquiring The Big Ticket in a two team deal with the Wolves.

What does this mean?, by shying away from border-line stars with hefty salaries, seems committed to a legitimate rebuilding program. This process will take years, but it’s the right way to go.

The Suns have re-emerged as the front-runners in the Garnett sweepstakes. Minnesota has little interest in Phoenix forward , again a star with a superstar contract, so Atlanta’s involved in this rumor as a third team.

Here’s where this rumor gets interesting. The Wolves have their eyes on the Hawks’ No.3 and No. 11 picks in the upcoming draft. But they want the Suns to do the dirty work and acquire the picks for them. The Hawks’ will only trade the picks to the Wolves if the Suns give them something significant in return- !

Yes, that Stoudemire. The self-proclaimed Black Jesus (this is what Stoudemire calls himself) would be off to Atlanta.

Religion aside, Stoudemire is one of the NBA’s best big men. Phoenix has reservations about packaging their young superstar for Garnett-or anyone else. Right now, this is blocking the deal.

If the Suns do move Stoudemire, they’re conceding that they’ve got to win now because Steve Nash is aging. That’s what acquiring Garnett is really about- capitalizing on’s productivity at the one-spot.

But trading Stoudemire creates other problems. What will the Suns do with Marion? Will The Matrix return to Phoenix after the Suns shopped him around the league? And how will he feel being the third banana behind Nash and Garnett?

Hopefully, Garnett gets traded and we get to consider these possibilities.

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