Coming into this NBA regular season, the Phoenix Suns was thought to be in somewhat of a rebuilding mode as they finally cut their ties with Shaquille O’Neal after sending him to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Steve Nash was thought to be on the downside of his career. Not only was Shaq gone and Nash thought to be over the hill, but All-Star forward/center Amare Stoudemire was to become a free agent on July 1st.
Despite having Steve Nash and Grant Hill under contract for the next two years, the Phoenix Suns were still thought to be a struggling NBA franchise this season as they had to compete with the revamped San Antonio Spurs team and the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference.
The competition seemed insurmountable in the Western Conference and if that wasn’t bad enough the Eastern Conference also had seen their best teams become vastly improved as well through free agency and trades.
Needless to say, Suns GM Steve Kerr has worked out for them this season as he had to try and figure out a way to turn this once powerful Western Conference team back into a contender. The one player Steve Kerr focused all of his energy into was Stoudemire as they stood to lose a very big trade commodity if he decided to sign a free-agent contract with another team this summer.
As a result of the possible departure of arguably their best player behind Steve Nash, Steve Kerr started talking to a lot of teams around the league in order to trade away Amare Stoudemire before he could simply just sign with another team and Phoenix will be left with nothing in return.
The one team that seemed most interested in acquiring Amare Stoudemire throughout the majority of the NBA regular season was the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs are also in a similar position as they were doing all they could to try and find the right piece to the puzzle to surround LeBron James in order to win an NBA title.
In the off-season, the Cavs made a deal with the Suns to bring Shaq to Cleveland, but that wasn’t enough as they still need another key piece to help the Cavs be legitimate title contenders.
Despite many rumors of Stoudemire heading to Cleveland before the NBA trade deadline on February 18th, a deal was never completed and as a result the Cavs decided to make a deal with the Washington Wizards to bring in All-Star caliber forward Antawn Jamison.
Even though the deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers was no longer going to be made, Miami Heat were more than willing to make something happen to get Amare playing alongside Dwyane Wade.