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Miami still very much in the hunt for Amare Stoudemire

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The Miami Heat are still very much alive in the chase to acquire superstar Amare Stoudemire. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Pat Riley may be trying harder then anyone else to trade for the Suns all-star forward. After the original rumors popped up over the past couple weeks, there was really no other information that leaked out from either side.

That was until today...

Miami Heat president Pat Riley has emerged as one of the most determined pursuers of Phoenix Suns forward Amare Stoudemire, proposing several different packages that make available any of his players short of Dwyane Wade, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Heat have discussed several scenarios with the Suns, including packages that include combinations of young players (Michael Beasley, Dorell Wright) and expiring contracts (Jermaine O'Neal and Quentin Richardson) the Heat are also willing to part with their 2010 first-round draft pick.

"Nobody is pushing harder on this than Riley," one league source said.

Whether or not the Suns are interested in anything the Heat are offering is another story. It all depends on how the Suns are going to want to move forward following the departure of Stoudemire. They could want some ‘win now' players in return or they could opt for the youth movement. Something you also must keep in mind is that Amare has a contract option for next season worth $17.7 million. That would seriously hurt the Heat and their plans to attack the free agent market next summer.

I'd say that the main thing to get out of this, and whatever future rumors may pop up in the 8 days leading up to the February 18th trade deadline, is that Pat Riley is making every effort to show Dwyane Wade that the Heat will be title contenders for years to come should he stick around. "Please, Dwyane. Please don't go"

League sources say the Suns are dubious the Heat can present the best possible package for Stoudemire, and aren't enamored with any of the combinations. Still, Miami is near, or at, the top of Stoudemire's preferred destinations and he would assuredly sign an extension to play with Wade there. Several suitors have been frightened away from seriously bidding on Stoudemire, because they don't want to give up valued assets for a short-term rental. The Suns are taking a gamble should they keep Stoudemire past the trade deadline.

Regarding the potential trades for Amare, I don't care what package they come up with...I just want to hang on to Michael Beasley. I wouldn't be terribly upset if Beasley and Dorell Wright got dealt for Stoudemire, but those are two guys that I'd probably miss more then anyone else. The Jermaine O'Neal/Quentin Richardson deal would be great, as J-O will be gone after this season anyway and it's likely that Q will as well.

I'll leave you with this thought that come to us thanks to Heat beat writer Ira Winderman.

For the Heat, which likely would have to part with forward Michael Beasley in such a deal, a move for Stoudemire essentially would be a move away from the hope of a potential signing of the Toronto Raptors' Chris Bosh or Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James next summer. Heat officials declined to comment on the speculation.