Amar’e + LeBron = NBA Championship Ring?

It is rumored that the Cleveland Cavaliers are in the market to acquire Amar’e Stoudemire from the Phoenix Suns. Is this the missing piece to a Championship for LeBron and Co? In my opinion this is the missing piece, but there are two sides of every story, so let’s take a look at all the aspects:

The first thing that must be considered is talent. Does Stoudemire bring more talent than what the Cavs currently have at the position? The answer to this question is absolutely yes. Stoudemire averages 21.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1 APG, 1 BPG. Currently, the Cavs have Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Shaq at center. The Big Z averages 7.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 0.7 APG, .75 BPG and Shaq averages 11.7 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.6 APG, 1.1 BPG, so clearly Stoudemire is a step-up from both of them, not to mention he is younger and more athletic.

Verdict: Make the trade

Amare Stoudemire Dunks

The second thing that must be considered is team chemistry. The Cavs have the best record in the NBA by two full games over the L.A. Lakers and they are on a 13 game winning streak. It seems that the Cavs are doing just fine with what they have. But, last season the Cavs had the best record in the NBA heading into the playoffs and they didn’t win the Championship, in fact they didn’t even make it to the NBA Finals. Nothing has happened in Stoudemire’s career to make someone believe that he will hurt the chemistry and therefore I don’t see his presence being a problem. In fact, he has played with Shaq in the past and they didn’t have any problems.

Verdict: Make the trade

The third thing that must be considered is team needs. The Cavs are 9th in the league in scoring, 3rd in points per game allowed, 2nd in field goal percentage, 1st in opponent’s field goal percentage, 2nd in 3PT field goal percentage, 9th in opponent’s 3 PT field goal percentage, 27th in free throw percentage (73%), 9th in assists per game, and 2nd in opponent’s assists per game. The Cavs main weakness is free throw percentage and Stoudemire would raise the team’s free throw percentage (he shoots 77%), although not by much.

Let’s take a look back at last season’s playoff match-up against the Magic. The player that destroyed the Cavs was Dwight Howard, the Cavs didn’t have anyone that could match-up against him down in the post. This year the Cavs have Shaq, although he is not as athletic as Howard, he is much more physical than Anderson Varejao and Ilgauskas. Stoudemire is not known for his defense, but he is a solid rebounder that will definitely improve the Cavs front-court.

Verdict: Make the trade

LeBron James Dunks

Clearly, the Cavs should do everything they can to make this trade. Not only will it improve them for this season, but it almost guarantees that LeBron will stay in Cleveland after this season (I’m tired of hearing him going to the Nets- they have 4 wins and he wants a ring, he has already rebuilt a franchise. It is time for a ring).

With a starting line-up of LeBron James, Amare Stoudemire, Shaquille O’Neal, Anthony Parker and Mo Williams (sorry J.J. Hickson but your stat line of 7.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, .3 APG, .4 BPG in 54 games [48 starts] is demoted to the bench), the Cavs will be in the NBA Finals this season and they will be hoisting the trophy when the Finals are over.

Even without Stoudemire, you have to like their chances to make and win the Finals. This season they are 4-0 against the Lakers and Magic (both teams in last year’s Finals).

Now you have heard my opinion, but do you think this trade is the right move?

[Photo Credits: Amare – Keith Allison via Wikipedia | LeBron –]

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