Will Amare Stoudemire opt to stay in Phoenix?

It was reported Wednesday by NBA FanHouse here and later by The Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro here that Suns forward Amare Stoudemire is leaning toward not opting out of his contract after this season.

“That’s definitely an option,” Stoudemire told FanHouse of opting in for the final year of his contract and the $17.7 million that would come with it. “I’m leaning more toward that right now. Maybe opting in. … (That would be to) buy time. See how we do. … I think we got our game back on track.”

Stoudemire spoke to FanHouse after morning shootaround Wednesday in Denver. Stoudemire also said he believes his chances of being traded by the Feb. 18 trade deadline are “50-50,” but also said that he is “pretty sure [the Suns are] going to offer a deal here pretty soon.”

Stoudemire wouldn’t say yet if he would sign such a deal and added that he does not expect a maximum deal.

“I don’t know if the Suns are really willing to pay maximum deals period, whether it’s me or whoever,” Stoudemire told FanHouse.

Stoudemire couldn’t answer whether or not he would sign a deal that wasn’t for maximum money, nor would he say when he might make a decision about exercising his option.

It’s interesting that Stoudemire would say this now and to an out-of-town reporter. He could have said this much earlier, if it was in fact his feeling then, which would have potentially stifled some of the rumors that he was admittedly distracted by.

It could be that as the trade deadline inches closer, Stoudemire is looking to solidify his status and mindset. If he opts in for next year, he’s essentially committing to the Suns and can focus on making the postseason and beyond. If he doesn’t opt in any time soon and isn’t traded or offered an extension to his liking, he’s sort of a lame duck who might be inclined to focus his play on an offseason payday, be it from the Suns or another team.

The implications of Stoudemire opting in could be significant. The Suns would certainly be much less inclined to trade him, but might drag their feet even more on an extension. If that were the case, we could see the same Stoudemire trade/contract saga next season. An opt-in also makes Stoudemire tougher to trade, as some teams looking for cap relief would be looking to take on his contract and let it expire at the end of the season.

Hollinger on potential Amare trades

ESPN’s John Hollinger breaks down a handful of Amare trade scenarios.

Tags: Amar'e Stoudemire Phoenix Suns Phoenix Suns Rumors

  • http://Twitter.com/tinmanl Kevin

    I really hope we retain him his jumper is unmatched by any big today.

  • Ryan

    I hope to keep him deal j rich's huge expiring deal next year. I would only trade amare if we get a starter in return and a draft pick as well as an expiring deal to save some money and get under the luxury tax.

  • pHXSuns Fan 1

    I hope Amar'e stays he is my favorite then Stevie. I been to four games this Season Opening Night Warriors, New orleans, Spurs & CHicago Bulls, He scored a great 20-30 PTS a game. they need to keep him he is gonna be the franchise when Nash leaves in 2012. They need hope to get him I msay this Amar'e Will stay I have Hope I know it Only Trade STAT for a starting man but NO would not trade him.


    PHX Fan

  • http://morgamic.com/ Mike

    If we get the 20-15 Amare, keep him. If we got the 25-5 Amare, no thanks.

  • brandon

    We need to trade amare… it is time. He has been my favorite plyer since his rookie year but he is a liability now. If he posts 20-17 games all year i would still trade him. Amare has to get knee surgery within the next 3 years… and with his other injuries he is just too big of a risk for the money. Get a good trade in like the nets trade for yi jianlin, terrence williams, bobby simmons' expiring contract and a first round draft pick. We need youth on this team and Amare, even though i love you and you rule.. its time for you to go

  • NJ

    NO NO NO! This will ruin the Suns financially! Just trade him already!

  • asani

    No way in hell does Amare go I think that is the stupidest thing I ever heard. Stop talking about trading this man and he will play to his potential. How would you all feel if you are constantly being reminded about a trade and you have to go out there and play? Steve is just as much as a liability on defense than Amare but none of you dare speak his name. Say what you want but teams don't win championships without big men and the suns have the most dominant one offensively

  • asani

    I think you guys are taking Amare for granted. He is a guy who scores twenty plus points on limited shots and the suns don't run the offense through him enough. All too often the suns become stagnant on offense when they have a guy who can score anytime he wants. No need for him to be traded but as a coach Gentry should tell all players, if you don't rebound and play defense your minutes will be held at a minimum and then see how everybody responds. That is what needs to be done because this team can beat any team but defense and rebounding is what will get them there.

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  • manimal fan suns

    never trade your best player. stoudemire is the coldest big man out there period. he rebounds decent too. with lopez coming along and frye you have the potential for a championship but you gotta keep stoudemire. hes the key. an unstoppable offensive weapon.

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