Wednesday, June 27th, 2007 at 5:44 pm  |  88 responses

Links: Amare to Atlanta?

Oh, and KG to Phoenix? As long as Minnesota doesn’t get cold feet…

by Lang Whitaker

We’re in the midst of a heckuva week around here. We just finished SLAM 111, there’s all kinds of Draft festivities going down in and around NYC all week, and then there’s this Draft thing tomorrow night. And man are the rumors flying about that. Lots to get to today…

• About this KG trade stuff…

The latest rumor has Phoenix, Atlanta and Minnesota involved in a trade. Phoenix would get KG, Atlanta would get Amare(!) and Minnesota would get screwed. Well, they’d get two lottery picks, but they’d be giving up KG, which hardly seems fair.

I’m not sure what the true story is here. Someone in the know just emailed me that the Minnesota/Phoenix talks are “total bullsh*t,” though I’ve also heard that there is substance there. I also just spoke to someone who told me it’s close to happening but that Minnesota will probably “get cold feet.”

Good grief I hope not.

Why would the Suns move Amare? I spoke with someone connected in Phoenix yesterday and they explained it this way: Phoenix looks at their window to win a title as the length of Steve Nash’s career. So they want to win it all in the next three or four seasons. When Nash goes, they’re going to have to rebuild anyway, so keeping Amare long-term isn’t all that important to them.

Now, why would you rather have KG than Amare? I was told that Amare isn’t always plugged in on the floor — he might miss a pick here or a roll there. KG would not miss those things. So it’s a matter of becoming a more technically sound team.

Would Amare’s inconsistency matter in Atlanta? Not a bit. Stick him on the Hawks, find a healthy point guard somewhere and you’re looking at an Eastern Conference contender.

Of course, I’m terrified that it’s not going to happen. Please happen. Come on, McHale, you can do it!

• At the behest of our managing editor Susan Price, I want to urge everyone to hurry up and fill out the Kicks Reader Poll so we can get your data in there. We’re starting to work on our special Kicks issue right now, so get on board.

Also, don’t forget about the charity in New Orleans we’re working with. Give until it hurts, people.

• Sam covered it here, but last night we went to the sneak preview of NBA Live 08. Gilbert Arenas and Kevin Durant were in the house. It’s about 200 degrees here in NYC this week, and that restaurant we were in must have been about 85 degrees, but Gil was wearing a sweater and jeans and he never broke a sweat. Really impressive performance from Gil. I got a chance to catch up with Kevin, who I hadn’t seen since the SLAM cover shoot and interview, and he looked happy to speak to me and to not have to be doing an interview for five minutes.

• It was cool to finally meet Dan Steinberg from the DC Sports Bog, though I had trouble recognizing him without his Drudge-esque fedora. I probably should have recognized Dan from his appearances on TV’s “The Blog Show,” but as I explained to Dan, I don’t watch or support “The Blog Show” because they never mention SLAMonline or The Links.

Dan said that I don’t write a blog.

I argued that The Links is a blog. I mean, it’s basically a web log of my activity, I update it irregularly, I use WordPress software to write it…doesn’t that qualify it as a blog? What is a blog? When I started writing The Links back in 2001, I wrote a daily column about sports with links to various news stories and my take on those stories. A few years later, someone invented the word “blog.”

Not sure why, but people don’t seem to think of me (or Sam, for that matter) as a “blogger.” It might be because I get paid to write, it might be because I also write a bunch of stuff for the magazine and SI.com. But whenever you see lists of the best NBA sites or blogs or whatever, people don’t seem to know what to make of us over here at little ol’ SLAMonline. Which is fine. We just keep cranking out the content. I know there are other sites that post hundreds of things every day, but I prefer quality over quantity. Which I think we have plenty of.

I consider “The Links” my blog. I wrote a lot of content from San Antonio and Cleveland. I posted at irregular times. I did reporting. And I was friggin’ irreverent! Was I blogging? Was I writing? Not sure. Although when Steinberg asked what software we use and I said WordPress, he seemed really impressed. So maybe I’m considered a blogger now. I don’t know.

• Anyway…been crazy busy today, doing radio and TV shows and calling around to see what’s the deal with this Amare stuff. If I hear anything later on I’ll update later, maybe even after midnight, so stay tuned…

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  • J6

    If there is a god, this trade will happen – this is the best thing to happen to PHO, ATL and Minny since… since anything. Don’t F*ck this up McHale!!!!!

  • bert

    its about 200 degrees in Arizona. I hope Amare dont go anywhere

  • Nadav

    Lucy McClain is hot.

  • http://www.phxsuns.net SwingMan

    You ain’t getting Amare, Lang. Local heads already called ass all over this BS earlier today. Dream on…..

  • Zee

    This rumor…is dirty. If this happens, phoenix and minny deserve to crumble.

  • chiqo

    phoenix is downright retarded if they pull this.

  • Kene

    …looks like a blog, reads like a blog, whines like a blog…yup, its a blog alright.:D

  • Big M

    KG on Phoenix would be crazy. Marion, Bell, KG on the starting line-up. Phoenix can finally shut teams down, and KG brings more range than Amare anyway.

  • http://www.mybleedingfingertips.blogspot.com/ Max Airington

    You’re blogtastic Lang.

  • 513bballfan

    I’m still not convinced that Pheonix is actually improving its chances of winning a title by replacing Amare with KG. Amare has show signs of developing a consistent outside jumper and being a dominant rebounder and these are the only areas in which I could confidently say that an older KG is better than Amare.

  • Dennard

    yeah dude is hating on you Lang, this is a blog and a great one at that. I see Minnesota i.e. Kevin McHale wimping out on this proposed trade also.

  • Joe

    Whose locker is that next to Amare’s with all the J’s?? Jalen Rose???

    I don’t remember anyone on PHX with that must JB stuff.

  • Dizzle

    My money is on the fact that KG will not be moved. If he is moved, why not wait until the trade deadline? If he has a less an extraordinary season then Mchale can at least have that to save his ass (a little bit). If he just shipped him now, especially just for draft picks, I’m sure his firing would come sooner than later.

    If it does happen. Look out Hawks!

  • Mash

    Blogging is so pásse. It’s starting to be cool to be doing good’ol-fashioned writing. Lang, you never wanted to be a blogger. You started the game! Dandada…

  • KMG

    KG is my favorite player in the league, and a move to Phoenix would be lovely, but I’d rather see him go to the Lakers. The only upside to Amare being on the Hawks is a guaranteed spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star squad. And if anybody can figure out what the hell is going on with former Celtics greats running basketball operations, please clue me in, because they’re all screwing up (yes Larry, you too).

  • RV

    Minnesota could get an established star, but they’re cleaning out already, getting ready for the future, i think the #3, #7, and # 11 in a deep draft is great. They already got foye and its possible they can end up with Horford, Brewer and Yi

  • http://mvn.com/nba-endofthebench Chris Clarke

    This isn’t a blog? Pssshaww. You’ve been doing this too long to be told you’re not a blogger. You should be telling ol’ Dan that he’s not a blogger. You’re basically both journalists. What’s the difference? A blog is extremely hard to define, but by my expert definitions, you’re a blogger’s blogger, Lang et. al.

  • The Allrights

    Henry Abbot owes you big time. INNOVATOR LANG, who also took it upon himself to dog ESPN at every chance probably single handedly got some douche bag executive over at the network to get in the blog game out of spite.

    I can hear them now, “WE MUST CRUSH THOSE SLAM GUYS. Get me True Hoop on the phone.”

  • http://www.phxsuns.net SwingMan

    Didn’t I just say that Amare to the Hawks was BS? Loacl heads here in AZ. even interrupted the Diamondbacks game to say so. Again, dream on…..

  • Dan Steinberg

    Lang, get back on here and tell your armies that I was just joking. We’ll get you on Blog Show, stat. Jeez. And after I subscribed to SLAM and everything.

  • RV

    ..Amare to the hawks huh, interesting..

  • Chris O

    Who’s locker is next to Amare’s? Dude’s got the hot J’s. I actually want to see Phoenix pull every trigger they can in the next 23.5 hours. Move Marion, bring in KG, trade Amare for the 3 pick. The Suns need some fire in the lineup. They can’t get Kobe, but KG will do fine. And think about what it’d be like to have Amare in the east. MVP, just like that. Lang, you’re the OG blogger.

  • http://myspace.com/mrdangdang Mr. Dang-Dang

    Lang never asked to be a pioneer in blogging…He just did what came natural. Lang Whitaker is the Bill Russell of blogging. He straight up dominated when nobody else knew what to do with all this basketball info. He made it seem easy. And he always got the job done. Now he’s a head editor (player/coach analogy). It doesn’t matter to me that The Links don’t get cred in the ‘blog’ hood. Sorry Pierce, but The Links are the m**** f*****’ TRUTH, son.

  • http://thehypeguy.com TheHype

    I consider you a blogger Lang, but you’re truly an awesome writer first of all. BUT, the one thing that might be a knock in your “definition” of being a blogger is that blogs tend to circle-jerk each other with links to other blogs (yes I admit as much) and SLAMonline isn’t really that style (nor should it be really, I’ve been down with the Links since 2002, a year late, but keeping it honest, and like how it is just fine)

  • http://wherespmac.com Justin Adler

    The Jordans are Q-Rich’s. If Amare goes to ATL, first I will cry, then I will remember we got KG and I will cry tears of joy. Amare can then pose in front of JJ’s Jordans.

  • bert

    Justin, we have no hope with KG. Amare is the best thing in Phoenix

  • http://www.phxsuns.net SwingMan

    Again, Amare is not going to Atlanta.

  • http://www.nba.com Greased Up Deaf Guy aka Clay Davis

    calm down lang, youre not getting amare

  • http://slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    “Bloggedy blog blog!” I taught my son to say that. It’s cute when he does it.

  • http://slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    The NBA should institute a rule, which would be no more unfair or illogical than a lot of their other rules, by which at least one consensus top-20 player HAS to switch teams each summer. The teams that make the Finals are immune, but otherwise, every other team is in play (except, obviously, the ones that don’t have a top-20 player). I think this would be terrific, and f*ck you if you don’t agree.

  • Bobby

    This is beyond stupid! Last time KG was in the playoffs ‘ticket was bringing in 25 and 14, Last Post-Season Amare was bringing 25 and 12 (whilst competing with Matrix for all the boards). This is a trade for the sake of a trade, it’s all hot air, never going to happen. KG won’t be traded, he’ll walk next year. The ATL will be in the finals in ’09 …

  • Bobby


  • jj

    I’d rather have Amare thank KG. Phoenix is not improving their chances of winning by bringing in Garnett and letting Amare go. I mean, KG is a beast, sure, but so is Amare… and you’d be trashing team chemistry etc. Amare has held his own against Tim Duncan (you know, when the suns were close to beating the Spurs before Amare blew his knee), and he will again. Phoenix didn’t beat the spurs this year because of those suspensions (which weren’t unfair IMO), but hadn’t that happenend, they would be the champs right now. Bottomline: KG for Amare… pointless!

  • Will Lee

    Suns are smart. They are a healthy team this year and still cannot beat the Spurs. This means its better to do something and wait for another conf. finals exit. The 00-02 Kings used to hang on with their stars, and they still lost to the Lakers. They justified their need is to slow Duncan down, KG is the only 1 on 1 match in the league.

  • RV

    swingman, the trade may break down eventually, but you’re saying u heard down in phoenix its BS, but i’m reading that the radio stations have suns’ personnel saying its being negotiated…so i don’t think we can definitely say it wont

  • http://www.phxsuns.net SwingMan

    I heard it on local radio here in Phoenix, RV – you know, where the action is?

    Where are you getting your info?

  • Joe

    Thanks Justin, ever since Q went to the knicks I forgot he was on the Suns. Thats what becomming a Knick will do.

  • bootlace

    I agree with Ryan, I love this big stars trade hype thing..its been a couple years since we felt this sort of buzz in the offseason. Its great to wake up each day, go to a NBA news site and think of all the crazy different headlines you could be reading as the page loads…So far though the buildup has been great, but it better not stretch on like ‘Lost’ until season’s over and we gotta wait for next year again to get some results.

  • north fulton

    Your thinking way to much Mr Celtic from north fulton

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    I hear the Knicks are getting Kobe, KG AND Amare for Jerome James, Jared Jeffries, Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, Clyde Frazier, Spike Lee’s next six movies, John McEnroe, the Liberty, Ranch 1, Gerry Cosby’s, the LIRR, Penn Station, and 37 conditional second-round picks. God, I hate unsubstantiated trade speculation. SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING.

  • bootlace

    Oh and Wang Zhizhi/Mengke Bateer didnt become Allstars because they’re not flashy/young/marketable like Yi – and frankly they probably woulda gotten booed. If Yi doesnt become an AllStar I will severly question the NBA democracy present in China.

  • Mr. Concepcion

    Wolves would get 2 picks plus Zaza…not much but I think they are showing KG love and sending him where he wants to go to thank him for his service. But why would Phoenix send ATL a dominating big man when they get ATLs 1st round pick next year, they would be screwing themselves. I hope it happens, Ticket and Nasty deserve to at least get into the finals.

  • Ty

    I think KG would be lovely in the East playing with Boston. That inside/outside game with Paul Pierce could be sick and they would probably finish 5th in the East next year. Not to take anything away from Garnett but a KG/Amare trade would have been a no brainer THREE years ago. The Suns are crazy if they get rid of Marion and Amare this summer.I mean if it ain’t broke why try to fix it, ya dig!?

  • g

    lang, this is my first stop for NBA news (and entertainment). a daily must read. you’re better than those other ‘blogs’! respect…

  • Jeff

    Hate to be the bearer of bad news…hopefully this is not true…im not even a hawks fan but if it is true wow, worst (psuedo)owner EVER…

  • Myung

    Highly doubt it’ll go down. If it does, I guess I’ll cancel my trip to Philips Arena tomorrow for the Draft Party. If it doesn’t, then I’ll be there with the other 9 Hawks fans in attendance (including Co Co, it seems). If I’m there, Co Co, look for a Korean dude in fire red Jordan III’s.

  • Holiday

    Dumb trade for Phoenix, love KG and all but even when Nash retire’s you wanna have a star to help lure another there! KG is still great but he aint got all that much time left, and Amare is just gonna keep getting better!

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    Myung, I dont know what Jordans 1′s or 2′s or any other number looks like, but I’ll keep that in mind. Before all of you sneakerheads jump on me for not knowing Jordan’s keep in mind a couple of things. 1)I’m a woman and the only time I wear tennis shoes is when I’m so called working out 2) I’m a Diva, I prefer 4 inch heels

  • Joel O’s

    Belkin stopped the trade. How that guy goes to sleep every night I can only wonder.

  • http://www.bigsofo.gr/site/index.php DIO

    sorry Lang but if the whole thing about Belkin stopin the trade is true…….we have a BIG debate: The Devil transformed into Bush or Belkin??? we should make a poll…

  • truce

    can Slam buy the hawks? somebody needs to get them out of Belkin’s hands.

  • 1hush D

    The Suns won the championship*, why would they trade Amare?

  • Myung

    Steve Belkin. PHX and Atl involved in a possible trade involving draft picks and a star. Haven’t we been here before?

  • 1hush D

    * if history did not include Cheap Shot Bob of the San Antonio Sours shouldering Nash to the floor, the Sternbot’s suspension of Amare and Diaw and the general pass given to the Sours for the Western Conference Finals. Smell the taint.

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    This trade was too good to be true. Hawks fans aren’t that lucky. Plus, all you have to do is go to Hawks.com and you will see a big picture of Yi surrounded by a sea of Asian reporters on the draft central link, and another picture of him in the bottom right corner talking about all the options the Hawks have. We might as well get ready to welcome Yi with that 3rd pick tomorrow night and you can find me at the nearest bar afterwards.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Yi is not coming. It’s going to be Horford, I hear. More tomorrow.

  • micheal sawyer

    I like how someone, which they prolly have an old pic and it’s Quintin Richardson’s locker, has Js just lying around. Colors that don’t even come out. Lucky Bastards!! Oh what Trade?

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    Horford would be too close to the right thing to do Lang. It ain’t happening.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    No, it is. It’s Horford. I’m writing up a post now.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Steinberg was not joking. At least, I don’t think he was.

  • RV

    so is the coaching staff overruling the owners?? I read some of the owners had business in china and therefore wanted Yi, but the coaching staff wants horford..

  • Chukaz

    Why hasn’t anybody told the @$$holes from ESPN that the Hawks/T-Wolves/Suns ain’t gonna happen? I read it at realgem.com a while ago or on ESPN.com, I don’t remember, but I hope it had nothing to do with ESPN.com ’cause people working on Sports Center haven’t noticed yet.

  • Paul

    If Mchale doesn’t agree with this one, then he must be retarded. Garnet has opt out clause in his contract so if he’s not traded now he’ll be gone after next season. Mchale should use those ATL picks and go home with them……..

  • Paolo

    I think the Suns are willing to this partly because of theme chemistry, which was raised as a concern last season. For all of Amare’s dynamites, I think KG can bring pretty much the same, and more to the table. And he will improve their defense. Raja Bell and Shawn Marion can’t do it all by themselves. Now there are 3 Suns who will defend.

  • JG

    its ok lang….. it’s better that less people know about the links… it makes it kind of exclusive.. you know what i mean?

  • Alan Paul

    I have worked for those kind of super exclusive publications before and now they are exclusively deceased.

  • rob d

    first of all KG has 2 get out of ‘sota but the suns cant trade amare n gt KG instead cos KG is 31 n amare is 24 and amare can still get alot better and KG has reached his peak..if Suns could get him without givin up amare or marion its probably impossible but ya nevr know..personally i wud like KG to go Detroit.he wud b perfect and free up space for sheed to shoot 3′s and they should win a ‘ship with that team.C-Webb 4 San Antonio

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Alan, I think Exclusively Deceased would be a good name for a band.

  • guy

    and how would that work?

  • DK52

    Amare for KG should never happen. They are basically the same player. At this point Amare is far more explosive, but KG is a better defender, who is used to creating shots and plays for himself for the last 11 seasons. I personally would rather have Amare for the simple fact he is 10 years younger. KG is already 31 and it’s an old 31 so by the time he is 35 or 36 he could be winding his career down.

  • dez

    He’d be winding down just as Steve Nash is winding down, so the Suns would be screwed anyways.
    The Suns need KG to slow down Duncan/Dirk. Amare didn’t beast Duncan like he did a couple of years ago. Pheonix’s window of opportunity is mad small right now. They need to go for it.

  • rob d

    KG for Motown

  • Mr. 416
  • Bob Jones

    you are an idiot…you are just making up stories. kerr says he will not move stoudemire

  • WIll Lee

    inside source saying KG to Clippers for Shaun Livingston + Tim Thomas

  • Allenp

    Damn, that dude in ATL who is balking because of the money is shady. Man, if you get Amare, Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and a fairly competent point, you are freaking straight in the East. A pissed off Amare is nothing to sneeze at.

  • Kadavour

    why does Amare’s locker neighbour have at least 3 pairs of J’s strewn about like [insert simile]?

  • Spenrock

    Why trade an developing superstar Amare for aging KG? Easy: Which team has gone the longest w/o ever winning a championship? Yeah, Phoenix (i think 37 years). Do you wait until Amare plays some defense (stop Duncan), matures (not getting suspended), & becomes a locker room leader (ego maniac/problems w Marion etc)? If you wait for Amare, Nash is done & it’s time to rebuild. KG gives them a chance now. In 2 years, if they don’t resign him, they get around $30 million to sign free agents. When you wait this long & get this close to a championship, just do it! KG or bust!

  • http://espn.com Reggie Evans


  • MagicChicken

    ESPN put the Hawks on blast today:


    my favorite parts are where they called the fanchise”disfunctional” and where the supposed trade fell through on Atlanta’s end because of “financial reasons”. Good gosh Lang, u got it tough!

  • tike

    Hey Ryan i dont agree Tough Guy…you should teach your son how to say Tike in spanish

  • Pablo

    Lang: the links are the greatest thing that internet has created. And the phrase that the Wolves´d get “screwed”? Geez man, couldn´t stop laughing for a good while. Tonight: America´s cup: argentina-usa!

  • J Shuttlesworth

    For some reason I think people forgot how HORRIBLE Shawn Marion was in the playoffs…well, compared to Amare. Looked like it was Shawn with the bum knee…

  • Ekam

    phoenix is stupid if they do the garnett for amare trade who would trade a crazy player like amare whos like 25 or 26 for KG whos great but only has like 3 or 4 years left of his career hes like 33 man! it aint gonna happen BUT GARNETT HAS ENOUGH ENERGY TO GO FOR ATLEAST 2 MORE YEARS SO I SAY GO TO THE LAKERS GET UR RING AND GET KOBE HIS 3 that HE NEEDS TO TIE JORDAN!

  • http://www.prweb.com/releases/2007/6/prweb536558.hfm Dunkadelic Dre

    Ekam is right, if the Suns trade Amare for KG they are stupid. Amare is one of the most explosive dunkadelic power forwards/centers in the league. Garnett is still explosive but he’s not the dominant player he was 3-4 years ago. If he can’t go to LA go join LeBron in Cleveland or Vince in Jersey. Amare was selected to the 3rd Annual 2006-07 All-Dunkadelic First Team.

  • Atili

    Garnett is still much better player than Amare I think that people need to think about the fact that steve nash feeds Amare, KG hasn,t had any help in last 2 years if KG would go to Phoenix he would score 30 points and take 15 rebounds and don´t forget that he has 4 straight rebounding title and he still scores more then Amare.

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  • http://www.gmail.com Serevei

    i rekon garnett will be traded to boston