The potential Amare Stoudemire to-the-Sixers trade that was mentioned as a rumor earlier this summer isn’t necessarily dead. It may just be stalled; for another six months.
A recent report from BasketballInsiders.com suggests that, given the Sixers’ copious cap space, and the Knicks potential desire to unload Stoudemire mid-season due to poor performance and his crazy contract, the two teams may engage in a deadline day swap.
From Steve Kyler:
“What’s far more likely is that the long-rumored Amar’e Stoudemire to Philadelphia deal gets done at the deadline. The Sixers take on Stoudemire’s $23 million salary cap number, which pushes them way over the minimum [salary floor]. They would only owe him roughly 30 percent of his remaining contract, so they’d end up paying him $7 million in cash and likely extract a draft pick or a rookie scale player for their troubles.”
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It is important to note that this report from Kyler isn’t sourced, and is simply speculative. It is unlikely that moving over the minimum salary floor would be motivation enough alone for Sam Hinkie and the Sixers to take on Stoudemire’s copious contract. The sticking point for the Sixers would be what else they would receive in return for taking on Amare. If they were able to acquire a decent draft pick, or a rookie scale player, as Kyler suggests, then the deal might make some sense from the Sixers’ side. The Knicks however, aren’t extremely asset-rich at this point.
Any such deal is far from set in stone, as a multitude of situations could transpire leading up to trade deadline day. The Knicks could actually end up liking the way Stoudemire is fitting into the rotation and want to hang on to him for a playoff push, or the Sixers could find a separate use for their cap space.
The re-surfaced rumor surrounding Stoudemire and the Sixers at least serves as an example of some of the options the Sixers will have come deadline day. With the amount of cap space they have cleared, and the amount of rookie-scale contracts they have on the books, the Sixers financial flexibility is very high, and the will have great mobility to make moves. Teams with unwanted chunky contracts looking to sign players for a playoff push will look to the SIxers to absorb those contracts, and will be willing to include future considerations, which the Sixers are basically using as franchise building blocks, as incentives.
The Sixers have put themselves in good position to continue to add assets, and as they were last year, they may be busy come trade deadline day.