How much is Amare Stoudemire worth?

When Amare Stoudemire officially opts out of his contract and becomes a free agent Wednesday night, we will finally find out how his actual value relates to his perceived value and what the Phoenix Suns are offering him.

It’s widely assumed — especially in Stoudemire’s camp — that STAT will be offered maximum dollars and maximum years, an assessment that ESPN Insider contributor Tom Haberstroh agrees to be the case in his buyer’s guide on Amare Stoudemire.

But that’s not what Haberstroh thinks he’s worth. From an in-depth analysis of Stoudemire’s past and his projected future production/injury concerns, Haberstroh thinks he’s only worth a four-year, $48 million deal.

Obviously the Suns — and every other team with cap space — would hand over such a contract to Amare at 12:01 a.m. ET on Thursday, and obviously market value is much different than what somebody might be worth, especially in this bloated marketplace.

So while we know Amare would almost for sure re-sign for the max and will for sure be gone with a low ball deal based on Haberstroh’s perceived value of Stoudemire, the question remains: How much should the Suns pay for Amare?

When the Suns meet with Stoudemire Tuesday in Los Angeles, they will have a last-ditch effort to make a play for STAT before the courting process begins.

The Suns obviously are at risk of losing Amare for nothing, but it could be worse to give him max money and max years and have that deal hinder future flexibility if he is not worth such a deal at the end.

It’s a tenuous time in the team’s history what with the organization entering a free agency period in which it could lose its franchise player without a GM or assistant GM, but the Suns should not panic and offer Amare the moon, the stars, and a max contract.

Instead they should hold steady to their reported offers and give him max money for no longer than three years.

That’s really the Suns’ only chance of making a deal that makes sense for all parties. Amare isn’t likely to take less money long term if he’s offered the max by somebody else, but perhaps he could take the three-year max (or something like Pau Gasol’s three-year, $57 million deal).

I’m not sure if Stoudemire is worth that much annually, but that’s the kind of deal it’s going to take. Such a contract would keep Amare in Phoenix through Nash’s two-year extension plus one more year (Nash could certainly try to play beyond this deal), and at that point Stoudemire would be a 30-year-old in line for one more monster deal (at least).

Such a deal would keep the Suns “the Suns” for the next three seasons, and then in three years they could evaluate whether they want Amare to be a Suns lifer or if they want to start over then, with nobody under contract that far out.

The thing is, I don’t really think such a deal would get it done, especially if a team like the Knicks shows Amare the love and comes charging in with a three-year offer. I think the love and the status is one of the biggest things for Stoudemire.

Remember when he talked about wanting to be mentioned along with the LeBrons, D-Wades and Dwights of the world? Remember when he tried to barge his way into the free agency summit? Amare thinks he’s a top-10 player in the league and this will be the summer to validate it, and all the Suns have done in the past on that front is dangle him like a piece of meat without pulling the trigger time and time again.

In many ways, there’s no right decision when it comes to Amare’s salary. Overpay and you run the risk of crippling the franchise later this decade. Fail to overpay and you run the risk of finishing off the Nash Suns.

Best-case scenario Amare takes a short-term, max deal. Otherwise, this isn’t going to end well for Phoenix.

What kind of deal do you think the Suns should offer Amare? Let us know in the comments.

Tags: Amar'e Stoudemire

  • KJ Loyalist

    David Lee is the only option because all of the writers and reporters have made it so.

    That being the case, most of Suns nation want him now.

    It's a joke really.

    People bash Amare – fine. I don't think he's worth max money either. The DIFFERENCE is that Amare can take over a game when needed. Lee cannot. Amare can easily get his own shots even outside of the Suns' system. Lee cannot. Amare can't play strongside / man D, but he is great off the weakside when he's paying attention. Lee might be the same, but his overall D is worse.

    Lee can't win you 5 – 10 games a year on his talent / shoulders alone. Amare can.

    The whole point of other options in any scenario where Amare leaves is to try to get something in return that can keep us even or better than we were with STAT. Something that can get us 2 more wins in a WCF, and even beside Nash, Lee can't do that.

    I'd be happier with PHX if they didn't give Lee money, tossed Earl Clark into the fire, let him begin to mature.

    Perhaps free up LB's contract now that we have DRAGON! in the stable, and wait for the first round of free agens to fall, then pounce on 1 or 2 cheaper options that can fill the hole Amare may leave.

    David Lee is not the answer.

  • daphnie

    I just want to say I absolutley LOVE the SUNS,I'm born and raised in good old Az so there my # 1 team.. I'm a fan for LIFE!!! GOOD LUCK STAT..

  • Andrew

    Nothing, let him go and get a work horse like David Lee down here. Defense and rebounds would have gotten us to the finals, and Amare just can't get it done, and doesn't even try like Lopez.

    I would ship Barbosa and JRich somewhere and get us at least a top 5 shooting guard.

  • KJ Loyalist

    Where are you getting a top 5 shooting guard?

    Besides Wade, they're all locked up and their teams have no interest of letting them go.

    I don't know if Joe Johnson would ever want to come back to the valley. Kobe Bryant will be buried under the Staples Center.

  • phil

    Amare isn’t worth the max for three years. He is a second banana and should be paid like one – 12m a uear is about right, but I might go to 14m or so in this bloated marketplace. Anything more and the Suns can’t afford the other pieces they need to contend.

    I still think the best option is a sign and trade for lee – amare might got for it as he can make more money that way, and I would rather pay 15m a year to a guy who can rebound consistently then 19m to a guy who cant

  • martinez

    well if he walks its not like the suns are getting nuthing in return! i mean thats almost 20 million that there not going to have t0 pay him and maybe we can get some one else here and as for david lee i dont think we should pursue him we should work with what we drafted they pretty are much like what david lee is a dirt worker people need to realize that the suns young team pretty much keep us in the playoffs and got us there nash and hill were great vets in therre tuturing the young suns if you really look at it its like we have been rebuilding this year and we drafted some more players to add to that rebuilding process i think griffin is going to have a break out year and prove his worth and lopez and the dragon are the new owners of this team


  • jerry

    Get dirk

  • Kyle Fleeger

    Amar'e is totally worth a max contract.

    1. This is America. The Free Market determines the worth of goods. Amar'e is perhaps the most gifted offensive big man in the league.

    Amar'e under Mike D. averaged 26.0 and 9.6 which are his career highs… No surprise here,

    Amar'e averages 14.2 FGA's per game. Lebron averages 21 FGA's per game.

    Amar'e scores 7 less points per game than Lebron, but Amar'e leads the ENTIRE NBA (Including Dirk you Traitors) in FG% amongst active players FOR A CAREER!

    If Amar'e gets 18-20 FGA's per game, he will DEFINITELY be a 30 point per game scorer.

    He averages 1/3 of his rebounds on the offensive glass. The more close shots he takes, the more rebounding opportunities Amar'e will have.

    He will be averaging 30 and 10 next season or the year after that. He will be in the MVP discussion and more importantly, like his whole career, he will continue to improve.

    2. The one valid concern of the Suns is that Amar'e's knees and eye can't be insured. Well, Amar'e sat through 2 years of public trade talks without calling us out… I think now he might want to remind everyone just how Amazing of a physical specimen he is.

    He made people believe Micro-fracture isn't a career stopper. He came back from it fast, and now has worked back to being his old explosive self.

    12-15 million dollars is what Jason Richardson makes. Give me a break.

    You Amar'e haters just ignore the massive errors in coaching, management, and player treatment and assume Amar'e is just a DIVA.

    Also, I have never thought so many people would try to argue getting rid of Amar'e on behalf of Earl Clark based on his similarities to Amar'e!

    It's not smart to rip Amar'e and then say we are going to replace him with someone lazy and unmotivated. Amar'e was rookie of the year, Earl Clark didn't even average 4 minutes per game.

    Amar'e if given the ball enough could be the most dynamic big man in the NBA. He could lead the league in scoring and I will stop posting entirely if he ever has a season with 20 FGA's per game and less than 10 rebounds per game.


    3. Character – why do people constantly act like Amar'e is a jerk? His ownership and franchise started to blow up a team likely to return to the Western Conference Finals. They asked Amar'e to be an entirely different player and then when EVERYONE hated it, they talked about trading Amar'e for someone who fit.

    Did Amar'e fight back in the media? Say He didn't want to be in Phoenix? Disrespect the ownership?

    No… he just sat by and treated it like a business. I bet we feel really dumb for not negotiating that 5-year 80 Million dollar contract Amar'e reportedly was interested in with us earlier in the season.

    Good-bye Steve Kerr

    COME BACK AMAR'E! I will pay you WHATEVER!

  • victor

    the suns need 2 keep amare if the want 2 even have a chance next season 2 win a championship. if they do not they have 2 either get dirk cuz he is opting out as of today. or get 2 pretty good free agents.

    looks kinda tough for da suns 2 keep amare but i hope they do…

    go suns !!!!

  • Buffalo Joe

    You couldn't be more wrong. Amare is not worth max money and he will never average 30 and 10. He is a product of Steve Nash and the Suns offense. He will be exposed for that once he leaves Phoenix.

  • Jax

    "People bash Amare – fine. I don’t think he’s worth max money either. The DIFFERENCE is that Amare can take over a game when needed. Lee cannot. Amare can easily get his own shots even outside of the Suns’ system. Lee cannot. Amare can’t play strongside / man D, but he is great off the weakside when he’s paying attention. Lee might be the same, but his overall D is worse."

    WOW. you dont really know anything. Id rather have Lee at this point-even though amare was my fav player for many years. You CAN count on lee to play hard every game, every play. With amare you NEVER CAN count on him. Why? because a player that can be great when he wants to be is someone you cant count on in crunch time because you never know if either his heart or mind is in the game(usually one, sometimes neither). He doesnt have passion for the game, he passion for himself. he doesnt play big at all(power forward my ass), no part of him plays great defense at all, whether it be strong or weakside defense. he doesnt rebound enough either-some 5.5 or so rebounds a game during the playoffs. Wow. franchise player he is not, although he contends he is. even though he can have great outbursts of scoring, its never consistant, and you cant count on him to make the "big shot" at end of games. how many game winners does he have in his career? maybe one that i can remember. james & wade both beat that number in their first season…

    these fans on here saying bye kerr, and amare PLEASE COME BACK, blah blah blah, are totally wrong in their desire to keep amare. Id take kerr nash and anyone except amare going into the future. we're losing a lot in kerr's departure, and i think that will be fully realized only after free agency starts and the suns have trouble signing any big names.

    and to KYLE FLEEGER: youre an idiot. amare does have character issues, and what has he done for the suns since his rookie year? has he won a title w/us? NO. has he gotten us to the finals? NO. so how is he worth a max deal? cause he is fun to watch? or is it because he didnt box out artest in game five that let ron ron get the rebound and put up a prayer of a game winner? or is it because he dominated the spurs in the playoffs, then when faced with a bigger task in the Lakers he disappeared? You tell me…oh and he could be the most dynamic big man in the leauge- if he was a big man, and if the suns gave up their offensive schemes just to overly give amare too much. PEACE OUT STOUDEMIRE. GOOD RIDDANCE.

  • martinez

    i agree with buffalo joe


  • Kyle Fleeger

    HAHAHA. Guys who are talking big game. We use statistics and warrants to prove arguments where I come from.

    @Buffalo Joe

    Amar'e averaged 26.0 points on 16.7 FGA's. On any team with-out the shooters the Suns have, Amar'e will take on a larger offensive role because the court won't be spaced the same in a traditional pick n' roll because teams will play through Amar'e. He is the CAREER ACTIVE LEADER IN True Shooting Percentage? He will get 20-25 FGA's a season and if you think he is going to start shooting worse during his prime, you might want to look up what PRIME means.

    See…. those are reasons to believe that with Amar'e's age and consistent development he will be able to score 30 and rebound 10…

    @JAX – name-caller.

    Amar'e comes from an extremely messed up household, and you know what, I would love for you to show the statistics of basketball players from single-parent households who mother is still unstable. I bet you can prove he is likely to be a worse rebounder because his mother was arrested during his 20's… BORING. Your sociological non-sense is just that, non-sense. Kevin Garnett was accused of Lynching in high school… he had HUGE character issues… and I would still have taken him. I am sure you would too.

    "to KYLE FLEEGER: youre an idiot. amare does have character issues, and what has he done for the suns since his rookie year? has he won a title w/us? NO. has he gotten us to the finals? NO. so how is he worth a max deal? cause he is fun to watch? or is it because he didnt box out artest in game five that let ron ron get the rebound and put up a prayer of a game winner?"

    This is where you start to look silly.

    1. Lebron hasn't won a title… You'd pay him the Max. He hasn't even won one-game.

    2. Chris Bosh has never been to the finals… or really anything… he will get the Max, you would pay it.

    3. Lebron and Dwayne Wade want to play with Amar'e… other great players will too… that's a good thing.

    4. MOST IMPORTANT… He wasn't in the game during game five during that rebound. It was Jason Richardson guarding Artest and Channing underneath the basket. So….

    Honestly, you aren't saying anything even remotely accurate, you can't back it up with a single fact, and you obviously don't understand loyalty or the lack of offensively dominant big-men.

    The Steve Kerr debate already happened. If you need to see why it's no big deal and the Suns should be focused on hiring Kevin Pritchard, you can check out my website

  • Kyle Fleeger

    correction to number 1. Lebron hasn't won a single game in the finals… not in general

    addition, if you wouldn't pay Amar'e 17-20 Million, then you just don't want to win basketball games. Amar'e is the one guy who can go wherever he wants on our team, because he doesn't need Steve Nash. It's okay, I am using the secret to keep Amar'e in Phoenix. So your negativity won't matter

  • JPrice


  • Rappstar

    You people are crazy! What do the Suns have without Amare? Nothing! They wont even sniff the playoffs without him. Without him they will go no where and they wont be able to replace him. I say give him the money, or be prepared to lose for years to come.

  • $-The Moneyman-$

    Amar’e is certainly only worth 12-15 million per year, but with the recent rumblings of Wade, Lebron, and Bosh all looking at going to Miami, fringe teams such as Chicago, New Jersey, and New York will all step up their efforts to get complementary pieces such as Amar’e or Johnson. I think he’s a goner for sure in Phoenix, which though not ideal, is preferable to giving a max contract to a lazy player. I’d rather see him walk and give the Suns cap flexibility this year (and next year when J-Rich’s contract expires) to go after another free agent.

  • Bob

    How much is he worth? Well if you base it on the Suns roster salary he (and everyone else) should be getting paid less than Nash since Nash is still the focal point of the team and the one that carries the team. If you insist on counting Nash’s age then he should get maybe 1 or 2 million more a year than J-Rich since he gives only slightly better production than J-Rich in points and rebounds.

    If you go league-wide he is definitely not worth the 20 something million James and Wade command. He isn’t even worth Pau Gasol’s contract. If anything 17-18 million should be the max Amare should be offered by anybody.

  • Phil

    Kyle – no one is arguing about Amare’s scoring prowess. But my favourite number in the Amare debate is 17 – the number of boards he got in the 4 losses to LA in the Conference Finals. You think that is worth max money?

    Lee is younger, healthier and is a reliable rebounder, and he won’t want the max. His defence is poor (as is Amare’s of course) but I think he will at least give a crap about it and try to improve, which Amare does in fits and starts.

  • Jim C.

    Amare’s worth will be determined by the market. My guess is that it will be around 5 years and $100 million because that is the maximum that a team other than the Suns can pay him without doing a sign and trade. This shows that Amare is still not in the ultra-elite club of Lebron, Kobe, Wade, etc. because neither the Suns, nor another team via sign and trade is willing to truly max him out.

    The reason the Suns (or anyone else) won’t give him the absolute max, however, has nothing to do with talent or character and has everything to do with injuries and insurance.

    Amare has worked hard and improved aspects of his game each year. He has gone to great lengths to overcome severe injuries. He has never been in trouble. Has never been accused of being a malcontent or a bad teammate. While he may not epitomize leadership, he is a shining example of exactly the type of character the NBA wishes all of its players possessed. I defy anyone to bring forth a specific instance or quote where anybody personally or professionally associated with Amare questioned his character. His lapses of effort in games do occur, but Kobe, Lebron, and Wade have those types of lapses (albeit less frequently) too.

    The reason Amare will not get a 5 (or even 6) year deal from the Suns is because Sarver is worried that Amare won’t be physically able to play out the contract. Prevailing knowledge is that Amare will eventually run into complications from his previous knee injury. Amare’s knees are uninsurable. Sarver will not allow himself to be forced into a situation where he is on the hook for millions of dollars to a player that can no longer play. Another owner will be willing to take this chance.

    Amare’s talent is not the question. Injury problems aside, he is right around 10-15th best in the league. Looking just at power forwards, he is no worse than fourth behind Gasol, Bosh, and Nowitzki. Players like Boozer and Lee are not in the same category as Amare.

  • Hayden

    Amare is a better scorer and athlete than Lee. He can take over a game. But the Suns need Lee’s rebounding, character and reliability at least as much as they need STAT’s occasional and unreliable bouts of complete domination. And they can get him for millions less. I hate to say it, because I’ve always loved Amare, but right now the better option for the Suns is to do a swap for Lee.

  • rob

    Give Amare the 3 year max! If he takes it great, if not we need to get dirk. Him and Nash have a very close relationship and picking up Dirk with another scorer would be perfect. Him and Robin would do great things together. What I want to know is why there are no talks of trying to keep Amare and sign Dirk also? Maybe they would care about winning a championship over the money….

  • CQU3NC3

    Plan A: Give Amar’e max contract

    Plan B: Get Dirk if Amare leaves

    Plan C: Sign Ray Allen and Rudy Gay trade LB and J-Rich

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  • mark Johnson

    Note to Stoudemire; look at Shawn Marion numbers after he left Phoenix!

  • Jim C.

    Note to Stoudemire; look at Joe Johnson's numbers after he left Phoenix!

  • TRX

    I'm surprised nobody's brought up the year Amare went down for virtually the entire season in 2005-06 and everyone thought the Suns were done.

    … They didn't miss a beat and rode Nash all the way to the Conference Finals again. Bye, Amare. Amare was exactly middle of the pack among PFs who played 25+ minutes a game in TRR (total rebounding rate).

    (Source:… )

    Up that to 30+ MPG and he's just about in the bottom third.

    @Jim C: I fully do believe his talent and effort level is the reason he shouldn't get more than $16 million. What he has and is getting by on now is athleticism, not talent. There's no way with his athleticism, he couldn't be doing better defensively if he cared.

    His previous injury history might prevent him from getting a max years deal, but he'd still get a max money deal if the skill and talent was there.

    So much more to say, but don't feel like it, lol

  • Jax

    Actually Dwade has won a championship, and Dwight has been to the finals. Jprice you dont really know too much, do ya? exciting moments, by the way dont win games. defense does, and he cant play D. And faking gasol out of his shoes more than once isnt enough. gasol faked him out over ten times in the series. Dammit people, look at the facts–Amare isnt the centerpiece to our team! NASH IS. As TRX said, the suns went to the conference finals WITHOUT AMARE. in fact i agree w/everything he said. he doesnt rebound enough for a Pf, and doesnt have an injury free past. in fact he's had mutiple career changing injuries, which could have been career ending. props to him for coming back strong, but thats not really the point of this discussion. Amare just really aint shit w/out Steve. And by the way i acknowledge Amare is a very good player- at times great- only at times, not all the time, and thats really why he is not worth the longterm max deal. i hope he returns for money he deserves which is at most a 3year max-and no more than that, but i wouldnt be sad to see him leave. id rather have the suns sign Dirk instead. anyone remember the dirk/nash combo? they were pretty damn good together.

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