Front Office Shakeups Likely Threaten Bulls-Suns Trade

Suns fire Terry Porter, add to Paxson uncertainty

About a week ago, it almost -- almost, but not quite -- seemed like a certainty that the Bulls would acquire Amare Stoudamire. Even this weekend, the trade rumors were buzzing: Tom Ziller at FanHouse triangulated about five different sources all saying Stoudemire was heading to the Bulls for some combination of Tyrus Thomas, Thabo Sefalosha, a draft pick, and various other rotating parts. Late Friday night, Sports Illustrated's Chris Ballard wrote that the trade "was considered enough of a sure thing that Chicago media folks were already making their introductions to Amare."

Clearly, the trade is breathing. But is it just us, or does Phoenix's official firing today of coach Terry Porter once again throw a wrench in the gears? (Is that an expression? We never learned how to fix a car.)

Last week, reports from Peter Vecsey and the Sun-Times' Brian Hanley said John Paxson was going to be leaving the Bulls. There was no timeline given; some thought he would be leaving after the trade deadline, others not until the end of the 2008-09 season. In either case, that revelation would have seemed to derail a trade for Stoudemire. After all, who lets his lame-duck GM make the biggest trade in recent franchise history? He has all the risk but none of culpability if something goes haywire. It seems to make no sense.

Now, the Suns are equally in turmoil. Matt Moore at Hardwood Paroxysm describes a them vs. Kerr situation, one in which his hiring, Porter, was ill-equipped to do his job. This is a franchise in its own state of transition. And we're to believe a deal -- not just any deal, but one with the GM-less Bulls -- can happen before the Thursday deadline?

Maybe so. Maybe it will happen, and maybe these weird little firings and hirings are but a minor blip on the Amare-to-the-Bulls cruise ship's radar. If it does happen, it will be a pleasant suprise -- "surprise" being the key word.

Eamonn Brennan is a writer, editor and blogger hunkered down in Lincoln Park. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, FanHouse, MOUTHPIECE Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site,

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