The Phoenix Suns will make their final push to keep Amare Stoudemire in purple and orange Tuesday when head coach Alvin Gentry and owner Robert Sarver meet with STAT in Los Angeles to discuss his contract situation, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Amare can opt out of the $17.7 million he is owed in 2010-11 as early as Thursday, which appears to be what will happen unless the five-time All-Star forward can convince Sarver to fork over the maximum contract he is seeking.
But the Suns have already made it clear in the past that they won’t give Amare a contract with max years and max money, so Tuesday’s meeting seems like protocol more than anything.
Stoudemire has repeatedly expressed that staying with Phoenix is option No. 1, however the reality is that he won’t get the money he wants, so playing for the Suns is becoming less and less realistic as July 1 creeps closer.
The Yahoo! report stated that should the Suns lose Amare, Sarver is targeting New York Knicks free-agent power forward David Lee, who is a much more affordable option with similar effectiveness.
There is also the possibility of a sign-and-trade, which isn’t out of the question. Yahoo! cited the Orlando Magic, Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs and Portland Trail Blazers as possible sign-and-trade partners for the Suns.
The popular thought has always been that Amare will end up in Miami, but a source in STAT’s camp believes otherwise.
“Everybody thinks he’s going to Miami,” the source said, “but that probably won’t happen.”
Then there’s the New York Knicks, who are hoping to meet with Amare Thursday after trying to woo Joe Jonson, but that meeting may not have the legs that people believe it does. So where will Amare end up?
Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: Tuesday’s meeting with Stoudemire is really nothing more than protocol and STAT will undoubtedly be an unrestricted free agent come July 1.
UPDATE: Dennis Lindsey to interview with Suns Monday
According to a tweet from Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, San Antonio Spurs assistant GM Dennis Lindsey will interview with Suns owner Robert Sarver Monday and is also considered the favorite for the job.
This isn’t exactly shocking news, as the Suns were granted permission to talk to Lindsey after the draft, and he has been considered the front runner for a couple of weeks now.
But the fact that the interview process is moving so quickly is a bit of a pleasant surprise for Suns fans and shows Phoenix’s commitment to finding stability before free agency begins.
Lindsey has been with the Spurs since 2007, and he was with the Houston Rockets for 11 years prior, working his way up from a video coordinator to VP of Basketball Operations. He has been sought out for GM vacancies before, most recently before the 2009-10 season when the Minnesota Timberwolves courted Lindsey.
Lindsey has the experience and basketball mind the Suns are looking for, but more importantly he fits in the financial plans of Sarver.