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Does Amare Stoudemire want Cleveland? Reports vary

Where there's smoke, there's fire.  When the fire becomes visible, "sources" begin coming out of the woodwork to push their agenda - sometimes making up lies in the process.  The hard part is trying to figure out who is stretching the truth.  Such is the case when it comes to Amare Stoudemire and a proposed trade between the Cavaliers and Suns.

It started earlier tonight when Bob Finnan of the News-Herald published a report that said a source close to Stoudemire  had let the Cavaliers know that he has no interest playing in Cleveland.  

A source said the five-time All-Star center let it be known that he does not want to come to Cleveland.

The Cavs have reportedly been informed of that news and have gone in another direction.

Of course, the report also says Stoudemire's tune could change if the Cavaliers offered a contract - 

One thing that could change Stoudemire's thought process, the source said, would be if the Cavs offered a contract extension. Stoudemire is supposedly seeking a three-year, $60 million extension.

He will earn $16.4 million this season and has a player option on his 2010-11 contract worth $17.7 million.

With information like that, it would seem Stoudemire's agent, or someone with knowledge of his agent and his thought process, would be the source since Stoudemire would likely desire an extension as part of the deal.

Not to be outdone, other sources quickly reported, through Yahoo Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski, that Stoudemire has no issues at all playing in Cleveland, or with Shaquille O'Neal - via Wojnarowski's Twitter - 

Source close to Stoudemire says he's completely open to Cleveland, loves idea of playing with LBJ and has never indicated otherwise to Cavs.  Source also disputes notion that Stoudemire has any issues with Shaq. So far, Cavs and Stoudemire's reps have had no contact, no dialogue.  Would Stoudemire prefer trade to Miami? Yes, but has no say and understands he has a chance for title run in Cleveland and then free agency.  

Again, the common denominator is a blurb about Amare's agent, Happy Walters.  

Such is life during the final week before the NBA Trade Deadline.  A lot is riding on these deals, and with so few team in the position to take on money there are going to be plenty of salvos fired as Phoenix, Washington and even the Pacers try and get the Cavs to take their players - and contracts - off their hands.

Stay Tuned!