Detroit third team in Iguodala, Stoudemire trade talks

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NBA_gordon1_250.jpgThree team trades almost never come together — too many competing interests to keep everyone happy — but man, they are fun to talk about.

And Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic has one that keeps alive the Andre Iguodala for Amare Stoudemire deal.

Possibilities with Philadelphia could be stronger with two fronts, a deal between bringing in swingman Andre Iguodala for Stoudemire with perhaps young power forward Marreese Speights or a three-way deal involving Detroit with Pistons guard Ben Gordon winding up in Philadelphia and the Suns getting Iguodala and Detroit power forward Chris Wilcox. The rub with Iguodala, a 26-year-old former Arizona star, is inheriting a contract that will pay him $56.5 million over the next four seasons.

Gordon landing in Philly would give them roughly 25 shooting guards on the roster. Is that really a need? And in this three way, now Stoudemire goes to walk-the-ball-up Detroit, which seems another questionable fit (although Rodney Stuckey would be thrilled).

Money remains the key to any Iggy/Amare deal. If Stoudemire does not opt out of the $17.7 million he is owned next year, does anybody really want him? Also, do the Suns want to take on a long-term, expensive contract with some heated Collective Bargaining negotiations on the horizon? 

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.