Ben’s Suns Blog is quickly becoming an establishment in the Phoenix Suns blogging community, and rightfully so. That might be why I was a little surprised when I caught this post, outlining the pros and…well, just pros, of an Amar’e Stoudemire for Dirk Nowitzki swap.
From a Suns perspective, I can see the intrigue. Dirk could potentially open up the middle for Shaq, provide Nash with an old friend and a new pick-and-roll partner, and give Phoenix another shooter to space the floor. Still, that kind of thinking obviously ignores the fact that Dirk needs an offense specifically tailored to him in order to be the hyper-efficient beast that we see before us today. Yes, he can be a very good player in a supporting role in another system. Just don’t expect the numbers you’re seeing now (or that you’ve seen post-Nash) if you aren’t expecting an overhaul of your entire offensive scheme. I’m just sayin’.
From the Mavs side of things, I don’t know of a bigger “wolf in sheep’s clothing” trade option. Dallas would seem to get back a young, hyperathletic, All-Star caliber big man, but what they may in fact get is an under-motivated, defenseless power forward whose primary strengths tend to come and go with his level of focus. There was a time where Amar’e put the fear of death in my heart. When he took one step in the paint, my throat would close up, my eyes would go to the back of my head, and I’d speak in tongues. While he’s still capable of throwing down a mighty fine slammajamma, has the occasional statline that makes you do a double-take, and has an offensive skill-set that’s interesting to say the least, he’s not that player anymore. He’s just a very good power forward. Is he better than Dirk? Hell no. I have serious doubts about what will come of Amar’e's career when he’s finally able to be “the man,” and that is exactly what he would need to be in Dallas. I don’t think he has good enough decision-making to be that kind of player nor the ability to create shots independently and consistently, and I don’t think I want the Mavs to be the team that finds that out. In a trade, why would you give up the player who is unquestionably a harder worker, better scorer, better defender, more efficient with the ball, less temperamental, and outright dominant/a match-up nightmare? Dirk has the edge in almost all of the significant per minute stats over our good friend Mr. Stoudemire (and holds a similar stranglehold on their head to head match-up). I can go on and on. The tiniest of tiny problems, and I mean this is just nit-picking really, is that the entire Mavericks’ offense would sputter, curl up in a ball, and die. I wish I was exaggerating; that’s how much Dirk means to the way the Mavs play on that end of the court.
A move like this would definitely make the Mavs younger, at least in terms of one player. But a move for move’s sake? Nuh-uh. I want no part of it. Ben, if you’re out there: don’t take it personally. The Mavs may have plenty of problems, but this one just doesn’t work from our end.