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February 5, 12:59 PM ET
Chat with Marc Stein

Marc Stein
  (5:30 PM)

Good day. Welcome back to Chatland.

Marc Stein
  (5:31 PM)

10 days 'til the trade deadline. I have a feeling that will come up once or twice.

Jeff (Chicago)

Which team is the frontrunners in the Amare sweepstakes?

Marc Stein
  (5:32 PM)

Can't say we have a frontrunner yet. Suns phones are ringing off the hook, as you can imagine. They're talking to more East teams than West, if you want to narrow it down that way.

Marc Stein
  (5:33 PM)

The preference would be to send him East. Chicago, Detroit, Miami, Detroit . . . all those teams are in the mix.

Todd Blankenship (Wauconda, IL)

What is the most you would give up for Amare if you were Paxson?

Marc Stein
  (5:35 PM)

I'm sure the Bulls feel as though giving up Ty Thomas and Noah in the same deal is too much. But with so much competition for Amare right now, that would be a sacrifice worth making. To me.

Brian (Michigan)

Any chance the deadline passes and nothing big happens?

Marc Stein
  (5:36 PM)

I really can't see it. I'm sure we've said the same thing in the past and have been disappointed, but too many teams are motivated to make moves. Too many big expiring contracts are being thrown around.

Andy (vegas)

What do you see the Pistons offering? Is it as simple as Sheed and Amir Johnson? If so. DO IT, Joe. Kinda a no lose situation if those 2 guys are what it will cost you. Sheed is over it, b/c the Pistons are on a down swing (like he was over it in Portland...) and Amir just isn't going to be that good. DO IT

Marc Stein
  (5:38 PM)

If financial considerations are the Suns' No. 1 priority, that deal makes sense. But a team like Chicago, with Gooden's mid-sized expiring contract, can give the Suns cap relief and players who are further along that Amir Johnson. That's why you're hearing so much about the Bulls.

Chris, Utah

The SUNS looked good last night. Any chance the SUNS are having second thoughts about additional shake-ups to their lineup? If you were Steve Kerr, who would you trade and what would you want in return?

Marc Stein
  (5:39 PM)

Don't think one win over Detroit is going to change the Suns' plans. The Pistons aren't exactly rock solid these days.

Mike, Phoenix

Is there any chance Amar'e gets traded to a western conference team?

Marc Stein
  (5:41 PM)

Not out of the question. There have been some conversations with Memphis and Sacramento, although I gather that nothing is close. The Warriors are likewise trying to get involved.

Matt (Dallas)

Can you comment on the emergence of Kevin Durant? I salivate over his box scores, he is amazing

Marc Stein
  (5:42 PM)

You are absolutely, positive correct. We haven't said enough about this kid. He was super humble about apparently receiving almost no consideration for the All-Star Game and has been absolutely killing it ever since.

Cesar (tempe)

Is a trade involving Marion and Beasley for Stoudemire the best offer the Suns will get?

Marc Stein
  (5:44 PM)

Problem with that one is that the Suns would have to put another player (Barbosa) in the deal and they don't want to.

Melissa, Nebraska

Are the Lakers still looking to move Odom? He was a beast yesterday.

Marc Stein
  (5:45 PM)

They never were looking to move him.

Chris (Scottsdale, AZ)

Marc, from your comments it really looks like all signs point to the Bulls, with Goodens Contract, Tyrus Thomas, and Joe Smiths trade Exception, if the Bulls land him what can he do for Deng and Rose?

Marc Stein
  (5:48 PM)

I wouldn't say "all signs point to the Bulls." Chicago just happens to be the potential deal that we know the most about. Also don't forget that the trade exception can NOT be added to other players in the deal.

Bruce (WA)

Percentage chance the Spurs add a starter before the deadline? (Rasheed Wallace, I'm looking at you)

Marc Stein
  (5:51 PM)

Sheed, from what I'm told, is very interested in going to San Antonio. And the Spurs would naturally love to have him. But it is difficult to imagine any sort of trade that could make that happen in the next 10 days, so as previously stated this is most likely something to file away for free agency.

Michael: (Dallas, TX)

It appears Dallas is interested in Udrih. Why? Hasn't this guy proven he's not worth the contract that will haunt Dallas the next few years. Can't they get more for Stack's basically expiring deal?

Marc Stein
  (5:53 PM)

I contend that the Mavs' interest in Beno has been overstated. Even with Jason Terry injury, I don't see this one happening.

frank (boston)

what are the celtics gonna do about the bench?

Marc Stein
  (5:55 PM)

Waiting to see which veterans get released after the trade deadline is still Boston's best option. Any such player must be signed by March 1 to be eligible for the playoffs.

Celo, San Francisco

Wouldn't dealing Tyson Chandler before the deadline end any shot they have to make the finals? Why not wait for summer to make a deal.

Marc Stein
  (5:59 PM)

Let's face it: New Orleans hasn't exactly looked like Finals material . . . and apparently the Hornets' financial issues are such that they will act now if the right deal presents itself.

JD (Salem, OR)

There have been rumors about Portland using Raef's contract to get a SF. Who do you think is most likey (Deng, Jefferson, C. Butler, someone else?)

Marc Stein
  (6:02 PM)

Agreed. The early indications have been that Portland wants a 3 -- Pritchard has loved Deng forever -- far more than it wants to get into the Amare bidding. As covered in the Weekend Dime, Richard Jefferson for the Raef contract is a possibility, but the Blazers are bound to consider all of their SF options.

Jeff(Ca)

Why would any team be willing to take on Jason Kidd this year?

Marc Stein
  (6:04 PM)

Of course. The Blazers, for starters. It's the Mavs who don't want to trade Kidd.

Jason Cleveland

After the Cavs got thoroughly manhandled yesterday afternoon, is a deal imminent? Have you heard anything? With Sasha out now, we are going to have some serious issues defending the perimeter.

Marc Stein
  (6:07 PM)

Imminent? No. Are the Cavs going to re-evaluate their standing-pat stance? I believe they will.

Brian (Michigan)

Do the Clippers really want to keep Camby, Kaman, and Randolph?

Marc Stein
  (6:11 PM)

Camby and Gordon are believed to be the two Clippers they want to keep most.

Derek (Illinois)

Is the economy really hitting basketball hard enough that teams even though they are competitive and likely to make the playoffs are looking to drop salary?

Marc Stein
  (6:14 PM)

I've honestly never seen it like this. Teams talk about the economy every day. Everyone is looking to get off money if they can. As Mark Cuban said on Jim Rome's show today, using their whole "saving for 2010" argument is a cover in some cases for slashing payroll.

Abraham (Orlando)

Spurs? Number 2? Are you kidding me? They play one game like the Spurs we were used to seeing 5 years ago and that makes them number 2. The top three in the East would take the Spurs down in a best of 7 series, yes including the broken Magic. The Magic still have 2 healthy all-stars, Hedo-"Everything in the clutch". Give them a few games to get their new style of play w/o Jameer and they'll be fine.

Marc Stein
  (6:15 PM)

Let's throw in one rankings question since we haven't discussed the PRs at all yet.

Marc Stein
  (6:16 PM)

I've naturally received some protest from folks in Orlando about the Magic's drop to five, but there's no way we're going to ignore an injury that completely changes the Magic's outlook.

Marc Stein
  (6:17 PM)

And San Antonio jumps not just because of one big one but because of the miserable week suffered by the top three teams in the East and a way to acknowledge their official arrival in elite mix this season . . . although we've never considered them out of the elite mix.

Marc Stein
  (6:22 PM)

Thanks for all the questions. We will do it again soon.