Nets, Stoudemire, Bulls, Cavs

Nets talk to Suns about Amare Stoudemire. Team and league sources maintain the Nets and Suns conducted “exploratory,” feeling-out conversations, discussing basic parameters of a deal for Amare Stoudemire. There has been no concrete offer, but the Nets have the elements the Suns want: young players, expiring contracts and draft picks. Though many see Detroit as the favorite, the Nets would be contenders because of their chips. But trading for Stoudemire is a move that might not be so appealing for several reasons. For starters, the Nets would be shredding the plan for the future they’ve formulated since the trade of Jason Kidd. Presumably, the Suns would require Yi Jianlian and Ryan Anderson, two of the Nets’ building blocks. — NY Post

Hornets trading Tyson Chandler?. With the trade deadline less than two weeks away, the rumors are increasing, and several possible deals involve Hornets starting center Tyson Chandler. However, Hornets General Manager Jeff Bower declined Sunday to say whom they might be shopping or could have an interest in obtaining before the Feb. 19 trade deadline. Bower did say he has made a number of phone calls and has received several inquires from general managers. Chandler has been rumored in possible trades since December, when Sports Illustrated mentioned Chandler in a possible exchange for the Detroit Pistons’ Rasheed Wallace. The latest rumor has Chandler going to the Miami Heat in exchange for power forward Shawn Marion, whose $17.1 million contract expires at the end of this season. “He (Chandler) is in my plans as far as I’m concerned,” Hornets Coach Byron Scott said. — New Orleans Times-Picayune

Bucks dealing Richard Jefferson?. The Bucks figure to start entertaining trade offers for Richard Jefferson, their lone healthy player who makes big money and has some value. He’d be a great fit for Cleveland, giving them another player who could beat Boston’s perimeter defenders off the dribble. The attraction for the Bucks in this trade scenario is that they can get Wally Szczerbiak’s expiring contract back and solve their luxury-tax issues. — NY Daily News

Miami may not be so hot on Boozer. An NBA source said the Heat might not be as interested as some thought in Utah forward Carlos Boozer this summer because of his injury woes and the allure of the 2010 free agent market. Boozer lives in Miami during the offseason and can opt out of his contract this summer. But by passing on Boozer, Miami would not only be able to re-sign Dwyane Wade next year but could try to pair him with one of the elite players in the 2010 free agent class. Keep in mind that Wade and LeBron James – the marquee free agent next year – are close friends who have openly talked about playing together. — Boston Globe

Cavs want Clips Camby. Cavs are looking at Clippers center Marcus Camby to help down the stretch. Other players who Cleveland has interest in include New Jersey’s Vince Carter, Kings Brad Miller and the Wolves Mike Miller as the NBA trade deadline gets closer. — Cleveland Plain Dealer

Pistons dealing Tayshaun Prince?. The fast-sinking Raptors are looking to shake things up and have talked to the Suns about trading Amare Stoudemire. But unless they decide to part with Chris Bosh, chances are slim that Raptors president Bryan Colangelo will get the All-Star power forward he drafted out of high school in 2002 when he was Phoenix’s top basketball executive. Bosh has missed the last two games with a sprained knee and his future in Toronto, beyond 2010 – when he becomes a free agent – is up in the air. So Toronto might be forced to get something for him. Detroit has been linked to Bosh in 2010, so it’s entirely possible that the Pistons will try to make it a three-way deal. Detroit’s Tayshaun Prince is being mentioned as one of the primary players who would end up with the Suns. — NY Daily News

Wizards Butler and Jamison drawing trade interest. Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said Friday that he is receiving a steady stream of calls from rival general managers and team presidents interested in discussing trade possibilities but added that he is not actively looking to make a major move involving two key franchise cornerstones: forwards Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison. The trade deadline is Feb. 19 and as usual, chatter among teams has led to rumors involving several big-name players. — Washington Post

Kings Salmons to Thunder or Spurs?. Sacramento forward John Salmons, who the Thunder reportedly recently sought to acquire in a trade for Smith, continues to hear his name in trade rumors. According to a report in the Sacramento Bee, the Thunder recently offered Smith for Salmons. The Bee reports Salmons has also attracted interest from San Antonio. “It just one of those things where you can’t really let it affect you and what you do on the court,” said Salmons, who finished with 23 points and 11 assists Sunday. “You’ve just got to stay focused and whatever happens is going to happen.” When asked about the possibility of playing for the Thunder, Salmons said, “That’s not official yet. Rumors are rumors. If it happens then I’ll have a thought on it. But it hasn’t gone down yet so I’m still a Sacramento King.” — Oklahoman

Bulls working to get Suns Stoudemire. According to league sources, the Bulls are one of several teams engaged in discussions about Suns All-Star Amare Stoudemire. Any Bulls package would include the expiring $7.1 million contract of Drew Gooden. Two league sources said the Suns also are most intrigued by forward Tyrus Thomas, and his play on the recent trip explains why. — Chicago Tribune