OAKLAND — What seemed like a near certainty on draft night — the Warriors acquiring power forward Amare Stoudemire — has fizzled into an unlikely trade.
The Warriors declined to comment, per team policy, but recent reports indicated Stoudemire doesn't want to play for Golden State, which figures to end any possibility of the trade happening.
A source told MediaNews that Stoudemire thinks the Warriors would be giving up too much (leaving him with little left to work with) and that he doesn't want to play center.
Also, the Arizona Republic, quoting Stoudemire's agent Charles Grantham, reported Stoudemire's focus is on winning an NBA title, preferably in Phoenix. Considering the Warriors are a ways away from contending for a championship, one would think the Warriors would be far down on his list.
That's a major factor in the Warriors' chances of getting the All-Star big man because any trade is contingent upon the Warriors' ability to sign Stoudemire long term.
Warriors general manager Larry Riley has said he all but needs a guarantee that whichever big name he trades for would sign long term.
"That would be very difficult for me to do," Riley said Thursday about trading for a player without knowing if he would sign. "It's a little bit outside my comfort zone, so to speak. I would have to consider very deeply what we would need to do if it were presented to us. It would be a tough deal. It would be a hard thing for me to get convinced of. I'm not saying I couldn't be. But that would be a very difficult thing."
Of course, what's said in the alleys of the NBA circuit is hardly official. Stoudemire's not wanting to come to Golden State doesn't necessarily prevent the Suns from trading him to the Warriors, nor does it mean he wouldn't accept Golden State's extension offer, which could be the largest he gets.
If Stoudemire — he can opt out of his contract at the end of the upcoming season, forgoing the more than $17 million he is scheduled to make in 2010-11 — doesn't want to come to the Warriors, did the teams know that before they engaged in trade discussions?
It's hard to imagine the Warriors not at least taking Stoudemire's temperature before offering up beloved center Andris Biedrins. But they could have just focused on getting Phoenix to agree to a trade first and then, before making it official, hammering out an extension with Stoudemire.
As it stands now, they have yet to work out either: the trade with the Suns or the extension with Stoudemire.
Notes: Swingman Corey Maggette underwent minor surgery on his right wrist. The operation Monday in Los Angeles was to relieve pain that bothered him intermittently during his first season with Golden State. The 10-year NBA veteran, who averaged 18.6 points and 5.5 rebounds last season while mostly playing as a reserve in 51 games, will be able to resume basketball activities in three weeks. ... First-round draft pick Stephen Curry joins Anthony Randolph, Anthony Morrow and newly acquired guard Acie Law on the Warriors' Summer League roster. The squad also includes Jermareo Davidson and a pair of locals, ex-Cal player Jamal Sampson and former Stanford player Lawrence Hill. The Warriors, who will be coached by assistant Keith Smart, will play five games in Las Vegas, starting July 10. ... Rob Kurz won't be back with the Warriors. An unrestricted free agent, Kurz is trying to catch on with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Contact Marcus Thompson II at firstname.lastname@example.org.