Amare Stoudemire reiterates the obvious

The big news in Phoenix Suns land today (aside from Grant Hill picking up his option) came from Amare Stoudemire announcing the following: He will be declining his $17.7 million player option, and he wants a max contract from the Suns.

In other news, the sky is still blue.

Stoudemire told The Associated Press that if the Suns offered him maximum dollars and years — six years for about $127 million — “there’s a very great chance” he would remain with Phoenix.

There’s not just a very good chance, there’s a 100 percent chance if that were to be the case. He’d sign that deal yesterday.

I’m still formulating my official stance on what I think would be the Suns’ best course of action this offseason, but I fear a max contract could cripple this franchise for years to come. I’m OK with offering max or near-max money for a couple years, but six years, $127 million scares me considering all of Amare’s red flags.

I also don’t think we should take much stock in anything Amare says the next few weeks. We know he’s posturing for as big a contract as he can get. He’s been talking about potential destinations for months now, and I fully expect to hear loads of conflicting information from Stoudemire’s camp as well as a plethora of confusing and contradictory tweets.

Today all we learned were things we already knew: that he is opting out and he wants a max contract. We don’t know Phoenix’s stance on such a deal (I highly, highly doubt they would offer the full max, though), and we don’t know what his market is like (I’ve speculated Miami, but he doesn’t seem to be their first choice).

We have an interesting summer ahead of us and newsier days than one like today where we just got confirmation on what we already knew (and really, that goes for the Hill option as well).

Tags: Amar'e Stoudemire

  • Roger Bourland

    Wouldn't it be something if Amare took a nice cut in salary to share more of the wealth with some of the lower paid teammates and to enable the Suns to sign some top level free agents? No way. It's all about Amare, not the team. Let him go for the best possible deal.

  • YinYo

    For someone that doesn't get 10+ rebounds he doesn't deserve a max contract at all. The bigger names such as Dwade or Lebron are only worth a max deal around amare's so is it really worth it? and plus, a six year deal for a franchise like phx is really bad. think of the new talent and new guys we have. keeping amare for a max contract isnt smart for a team that wants to build around the new guys

  • Mel.

    “I’m still formulating my official stance on what I think would be the Suns’ best course of action this offseason, but I fear a max contract could cripple this franchise for years to come. I’m OK with offering max or near-max money for a couple years, but six years, $127 million scares me considering all of Amare’s red flags.”

    First and foremost being longevity. Even with the questions of intensity and whether or not STAT’s worth a truly elite payday, the idea of him playing at a max-money level for those six years with the injuries he’s come back from is pretty dubious.

    I’m not a doctor, but I would imagine that the legs and fuel tank of a player who’s come back from microsurgery are not–in the long haul–going to hold up as well through age thirty as those of a normal NBA athlete. Signing Amar’e on through age thirty-four with THAT kind of risk is a “faith contract,” and not one that’s particularly smart for a franchise looking to foster its young talent for the next few years.

    I love STAT. We all love STAT. But making a long-haul investment in the guy is a very, very tough argument to make.

  • S

    Well said, Mel!

  • Phil

    Forget longevity, and concentrate on the fact that Amare is an unreliable No 2 option seeking a max contract. I can’t say I’m too excited about giving him a contract worth over $1m per rebound he pulled in in this postseason.

    If Lebron or D-Wade are worth a max deal, how can Amare possibly be worth the same? The Suns have only been able to contend on his current contract because Nash plays for a heavy discount – give Amare the max and once Steve goes, we are in 30-35 win territory for the length of that contract unless we win the lottery.

  • Will of the Sun

    Thank you to Joseph and Santiago for the articles on the Phoenix Suns Dream Team Roster of 2010-2011. I know that the roster is just a dream, but it is possible if it is executed perfectly. Just Look at the Boston Celtics becoming NBA champions with the surprising additions of Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett (In their first season together,nonetheless). This could be Phoenix next season with Lee, Dirk, and Wade joining Hill and Nash in the starting line-up. I think we’ve been given a hint of hope with Danny Ferry’s departure as CAV’s GM. The Phoenix Suns should hire Ferry as GM or assistant GM and present him with the SUNS DREAM TEAM PLAN of 2010-2011 Season. I think that he could have the ability to make this happen if Steve Kerr felt incapable to do it himself. Phoenix Suns would emerge this off-season as the favorites to be NBA Champions next season. The only team that I see beating them is the PORTLAND NIGHTMARE TEAM OF 2010-2011 of: Miller, Roy, Lebron, Bosh, Camby/Oden (I am knocking on wood every night that this doesn’t come true) Suns fans reading this that have twitter or facebook, that would like to see this team become a reality or be taken into consideration, need to send Wade messages so he takes the suns into consideration. (Also send messages to Steve Kerr at Ask Steve Kerr, and the Contact Us section in Suns homepage.) We’ve got less than 4 weeks, but we may be able to grab some attention if plenty of us make our voices heard.

  • GP

    Stat is not worth the max contract, not even near it. Give Two-Time any decent PF and that PF will contribute as much if not more than Amare. I like the way Phx is handling the issue, keeping mum about its plans. The noisier this issue gets, the better for Amare so let’s just let Amare feel the pressure, not the other way around.

  • Mel.

    "Wouldn’t it be something if Amare took a nice cut in salary to share more of the wealth with some of the lower paid teammates and to enable the Suns to sign some top level free agents?"

    Apparently, that sort of antiquated dedication to the betterment of a franchise is something that you do if you're making a ring grab (CoughcoughKarlMalonecough) or if you happen to be Steve Nash.

    Interesting to read these posts, though. I felt pretty sour after reading Amar'e's FA comments (With an obnoxious audio loop of Jerry Maguire running through my head… even my pop culture references are ten years behind the times), and I'm glad I'm not the only fan who's coming to grips with the notion that a STAT-less Suns squad might not be the end of my world as I know it.

  • Mike

    Amare is a good player, but no where near being a max money player. Remember what Kobe did in the last game, that is a max money player.

    Since he is turning down the 17 million I would love to see him ending up signing a contract for less.

  • rtz

    One wonders now whether Steve Kerr regrets not trading Amar'e earlier this year. Since it is pretty clear he (Amar'e) is leaving the ship, we get nothing for him but cap space. The Suns will need a reliable go to player, preferably one who can get his own shot. Those players are few and far between but some are going to be available as free agents. Question is, will the organization put up the money?

  • Robert

    I don't think Kerr got the offer he wanted, and did well by not making the trade. A rebound and a few made shots and we could be battling KG in the finals right now. Plus it put on display what matters, that STAT is a beast when he wants to be, not when his team needs it. How you could be that gifted physically and that terrible defensively is a testament to his selfishness. I applaud him for overcoming a lot and having a very respectable career, but he is not among the elite in the game, even though he does have the talent.

    Assuming D Wade isn't put off by his poor playoffs and still wants him in Miami, let's sign and trade him to Miami and take back Beasley, Chalmers, Haslem, and a #1.

    Haslem will play D and rebound like he always has, Beasley might benefit from the Nash effect and is on his rookie contract so isn't taking up much money, Chalmers can be another guard off the bench to push Dragic or back up Dragic if we wanted to rest Steve for 10-15 games next year. Then we could use the #1 on a big prospect to pair with Lopez or a shooting guard to replace Richardson down the road.

    Outside of that or signing Dirk, I don't think they should join the frenzy this year and avoid overpaying Frye and Admundson just because they have some extra cash from letting Amare walk. Then they can save their money for next offseason…

  • suns68

    If it’s purely a money thing, I wish Amare all the best. But I do caution him there are a lot of players out there who thought they were going somewhere the day they left Steve Nash.

  • rtz

    All good points Robert. Kobe has learned to play without the ball and make the players around him better. He is always there when the team needs a go to guy or to step on the opposing team's neck to break a game open. There aren't many of those type of players in the league. When Nash is gameplanned by the opposing team, the Suns have to have somebody who can get his own shot. LeBron would be great but I know I am daydreaming.

  • Mel.

    Awesome bit of GM footwork, Robert. I like that a lot. Kills quite a few birds with one well-placed stone.

    And rtz, I think Kerr would be banging his head against his desk had the Suns continued their slump through the end of the year, and gotten chewed up in the playoffs. The fact that the crew managed to make as deep a run as they did HAD to pay some serious dividends in terms of the franchise at large: even if the Suns were an underdog for the ages against the Lakers, the media's coverage of the bench, their scrappiness, the Steve Nash storylines and the STAT signing drama made them seem like they were actually teasing an elite berth in the Western Conference.

    Compared with the prospect of having dealt STAT in February and feasibly having thrown in the towel on the rest of the regular season, and I gotta be happy if I'm Kerr. Thanks to Gentry and the team's heart, he went from being the most-hated man in Arizona State to looking like the savviest GM in the game; and in the process, a TON of pressure has been vented from the off-season. It feels like the team might weather losing Amar'e to some big-money offer with a minimum of collateral damage, if we keep our other pieces and add a few guys who can compliment what works about the system.

  • Keir

    Like the rest of you I think we should let Amare go as he isn't worth max – his defence and attitude are the reasons. I've loved watching Amare's offence but his is getting greedy and we don't want to be the ones paying for his greed.

    I don't see the point in trading Amare for Beasley, Chalmers and Haslem. Beasley is a head case and Chalmers plays a position we are strong in so only Haslem would be a good pickup. Haslem would be very good for us but he wouldn't replace Amare.

  • Stock71

    When is the last time you heard other NBA players say they would love to play with Amare? To me that is the recognition that deserves the max contract. His playing in PHX is not going to draw others to play along side him. Nash and Lebron are guys that other players want to be around.

  • Steve

    Amare isn’t worth a max deal. Everyone knows this, even him. I’ve wanted Amare gone for the past three seasons because of his lack of effort and commitment on both ends of the floor, especially defensively. The man is one of the most physically gifted athletes alive. The problem is that he knows that and uses it as an excuse to be lazy. He’s a cancer to the team, and I want him gone. We made it to the WCF with BORIS DIAW as our PF. We don’t need Amare.

  • Tristan Welz

    Stat isn’t getting max years or max money…not going to happen. Kerr needs to make his contingency plan his main focus.

  • Mel.

    I’m going to be REALLY curious to see whether or not STAT gets a dangle from the franchises that lose out on Lebron and D-Wade. I hate to say it, but it’s almost as if Amar’e nonchalantly inserted himself into the existing conversation about the FA scramble with his press-bait about attending the “summit” that LBJ and company were airing out.

    If he does get that max contract from another franchise–and I’d say the chances of that happening are about fifty-fifty–I would wager that it’s a “desperation signing” from one of the teams that’s lost its draw (Cleveland or Miami). That’s NOT a good situation for a guy with STAT’s track record. Filling a void left by a true superstar is pressure enough, but when the fans and management are going to be expecting a fast and dirty turnaround on their investment, there’s NO telling how the heck Amar’e will perform.

    “Clutch” is a term I’d balk at using for STAT, even when he was exploding in the late season. But compounded by a fan base that doesn’t defer to you as the face of its team, and who WILL be unhappy if you start phoning it in… that’s the kind of situation that gets real ugly, real fast. Look at Iverson, Spreewell, Johnson, T-Mac and Marbury as a lesson in what happens when talent doesn’t bear what the market dictates.

  • Mike Meez

    A lot of good comments already. My two-cents, chronologically:

    You’ve got to give Steve Kerr credit for not trading Amar’e at the deadline. I think a lot of people get tunnel vision in those situations and feel like they have to do something, to make some kind of trade after all the talk. Good for Kerr for balking at the pithy offers he got. Like others said, in terms of this season, the Suns are nowhere near the team they are 2nd half of the season had Amar’e been traded. Although I will agree with everyone about a future contract with Amar’e, we’ve got to give him credit for his efforts since the All-Star break. He really stepped up and even played some defense. Without him the Suns might not have even made the playoffs (remember how close the Western Conference was?) and they definitely would not have been the 3rd seed. Without Amar’e Suns would likely have been a 6-8 seed and been bounced from the playoffs in the first round. This year’s deep playoff run was not only good for the fans and players, the team made millions of dollars that they wouldn’t have otherwise. Every extra home playoff game is probably an extra $2 million.

    As far as the future goes, I have to agree with everyone. There are so many reasons NOT to give Amar’e max money and few to give it to him. I agree with Michael; maybe give max mula for up to 2-3 years. Even though I don’t think he’s worth that even over 2-3 years, that seems to be the best option. There is literally no one else we can get in the near future with his talent. So yeah, he would be overpaid but it would only be for a couple years and it would keep together a solid team until Nash retires and Amar’e’s contract expires.

    No way does it make sense to give max money for 6 years for all the reasons already stated. I would actually be hesitant to sign Amar’e to ANY long-term deal. Even if Suns don’t give max money for 6 years, he’s still going to be pricey and who knows how the Suns will be in a couple years when Nash and Hill have retired. At that point I really wouldn’t want Amar’e to be the veteran player to build around. In fact, that could be a nightmare. I can just picture him being the star who still wants to get his numbers (but needs the ball even more to get them) and gets in the way of the development younger guys (Dragic, Dudley, Clark) to get them.

    I actually feel bad about the negative comments about STAT on this board (including my own)because, for all his flaws, he’s done so much for the team over the years. It’s not like he’s a bad guy at all, but he’s completely self-interested, like even more than the average NBA player. I can’t blame him for that but it is unfortunate that it could limit him and the organization. As much as I would hate to see him go, I would really hate to see the relationship between him and Suns fans devolve into bitterness and resentment. We got a taste of that after Games 1 and 2 in the WCF and it wasn’t pretty.

    I would say the one thing going for the Suns in negotiations is that I highly doubt any other team would give him max money for more than a year or two. In that case, Suns could and should match and keep this team together.

  • Mel.

    Great post, Meez. I think it’s important to note that there’s nothing unusual or exceptionally selfish about Amar’e pursuing what he feels his net worth is; it’s pretty much par for course in the NBA. It’s the bottom line and the chance at a ring that move the big fish these days, and the era of a career-length run with a single franchise is about as contemporary as Bird-era short-shorts.

    It’s easy to overlook that when your team has Steve Nash and Grant Hill anchoring it, but it is an important designation to make: that for Amar’e, it might just be business. Nothing more, and nothing personal.

  • asani

    Amare is a beast but that is too much money. 5 Years for 80 million is ok but he can’t get $127 million. We need another big player but Amare getting that kind of money will mess up the suns signing a good player.

  • Ace Phoenix

    Someone will give Amar’e the max deal and he will walk, if a max deal is all he cares about. I’ve been excited about him since the day my buddy Ashley and I were the only ones jumping up and down in the Dodge theatre at the team draft party.
    I really want him to stay, but I don’t see the Suns offering him more than 4 years total, the option year, plus three more.
    Regardless, we’ve seen Amar’e grow into a fine man and a terrific philanthropist in the community. I hope he makes the right decision here, whatever that may be.