Phoenix is less than two years removed from the Big Shot Bob Hip-Check Heard ‘Round The World, and the transition from Mike D’Antoni’s uptempo game to GM Steve Kerr’s halfcourt fallacy has left the Suns looking very much like non-contenders. Today’s firing of head coach Terry Porter (above, foreground)— a story that seemed to dominate much of All-Star Weekend — has Phoenix Stan of The Bright Side Of The Sun repeating a refrain from Saturday ; “Terry Porter might not be the right guy for this job, but if that’s the case, the person responsible for hiring him cannot be ignored.” Yahoo‘s Adrian Wojnarowski (who called the Shaq/Kobe selection as All-Star Game co-MVP’s “about as legitmate as election night in Havana”, warns “the future of the franchise could be at the mercy of the impulsive, impatient Robert Sarver.” One of those impulses could be Phoenix shipping Amare Stoudemire to Sacramento, writes the Bee’s Sam Amick.
Just as the Suns themselves are grappling with the financial implications that surround their every move, the Kings must decide whether they think landing a 26-year-old talent like Stoudemire would result in the sort of excitement/profits that could counter the millions that would likely be added to payroll. There is, as an added note, the reality that they would likely have to give up their top first round pick for this June. What’s more, a source close to the Suns tells me Kevin Martin remains out of this conversation.
Ironically, I had been playing armchair GM for about a month now on various radio appearances saying the Kings should do what they had to do to land Stoudemire. It is, in some respects, a similar situation to when they landed Chris Webber – that of the star who wouldn’t be thrilled to be here but who could be the King of this castle upon arrival.
And just as Webber stayed when he became a free agent, Stoudemire – who can receive an extension this summer – will be a free agent in 2010 and would have every reason to stay so long as he is the type who enjoys adding to his bank account. As the New York Times’ Howard Beck reminded us all recently, free agents hardly ever flee their home city because of the incentive to stay that is built in to the collective bargaining agreement.