UPDATE: I made this far more complicated than it needs to be. See the end of the post for a simplified option.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo!, as posted by Aykis16 earlier:
NBA executives say that [Robert] Sarver has contacted team owners – including those of the Sacramento Kings and Memphis Grizzlies – in an attempt to broker a deal for Stoudemire. While the Suns’ basketball executives are discussing one possible package with teams, Sarver has, at times, appeared to be pursuing his own agenda.
Potential trades can not add to payroll. Period. End of sentence.
Previous reports have stated that Phoenix (err, Sarver) wants expiring contracts, youth, and draft picks. Sacramento can't add to the payroll. Can this even work?
The total of Sacramento's expiring contracts -- not including Mikki Moore -- comes to $11.3 million. Amare Stoudemire makes $15 million. You'd have to get Phoenix to bite on Moore's $2 million in guaranteed 2009-10 salary, you'd have to include one of the young forwards and some mix of (I assume) Houston's pick and a future (protected) Kings first (I assume).
AMARE FOR WILLIAMS, JACKSON, DOUBY, MOORE, THOMPSON AND A PICK saves Sacramento's $1.5 million in actual salary this season ($3 million for the whole year, but the year's half over), and cuts $12 million off Phoenix's 2009-10 cap figure.
That's a five-for-one deal, though. Those almost never happen.
Amick said the Kings won't increase payroll in any deal. What if in total payroll is cut?
SALMONS + DOUBY FOR WILCOX AND A PICK adds $200,000 to the Sacramento payroll.
MOORE + MILLER FOR SZCZERBIAK saves Sacramento $3.2 million.
THOMPSON + WILLIAMS + JACKSON + BROWN + THE PICK FROM OKC + HOUSTON'S PICK FOR STOUDEMIRE adds $2.8 million to Sacramento's payroll.
Sacramento comes out with payroll $200,000 smaller this season, and actually ends up with more cap space this summer than they would have otherwise. The Cleveland link is the most tenuous -- it has been established the Cavs won't take Kenny Thomas under any circumstances, so this is the next best option. There could be other options here, though. This really destroys the Kings' roster in total for this season; you're left with Stoudemire, Martin, Wilcox, Udrih, Garcia, Hawes, Greene, Szczerbiak, Thomas and ... some D-League junk. You'd be about $10 million under the cap this summer.
But these are just ideas to show you that it can be done.
UPDATE: A simplified option -- Amar'e to Sac, Salmons to Oklahoma City, Joe Smith + Bobby Jackson + Shelden Williams + Jason Thompson OR Spencer Hawes + one of OKC's late first round picks + Houston's pick to Phoenix.
Sacramento saves the salary of whichever young big gets dealt (Salmons, Jackson and Williams add up to Amare's salary), OKC gets Salmons for a late first and an expiring contract they'd buy out if they don't move, and Phoenix gets cap space, a young forward/center, and two immediate picks. I know the NOMAR'E crowd around here won't like giving up a half of Shock and Hawes, but all things considered ...