Where do Amare Stoudemire and the Phoenix Suns stand with exactly one full day of free agency in the books? News and rumors continue to leak out, and ultimately three burning questions have been answered about Stoudemire and the Suns 24 hours into the 2010 free agency frenzy: 1) What is Amare asking for? 2) What is Phoenix willing to give up? 3) What’s STAT market value?
Here’s how things are shaping up for STAT and the Suns:
Amare wants …
At least a five-year deal from the Suns or a max deal somewhere else.
“We’re not doing anything that’s not five years,” Stoudemire’s agent, Happy Walters said.
STAT has already received his best offer so far, according to The Arizona Republic‘s Paul Coro. The team that made the offer is rumored to be New York, but Coro reported that Amare is still talking to the Suns.
Phoenix is willing to pay …
Somewhere in the neighborhood of four years, $84 million, which is maxing Stoudemire out for four years. Sarver has been reluctant to hand out a fifth year to Amare. But Coro reported that the Suns may have offered Stoudemire a five-year deal with some injury stipulations or a player option. The Suns still have the ability to up the ante, depending on what STAT’s best offer actually is.
STAT’s market value
If Amir Johnson and Drew Gooden can garner $34 and $32 million, respectively, than there’s no way Stoudemire won’t get the max. There’s money to blow and All-Stars to be had, so seemingly everyone’s getting paid this summer. Just look at the fact that Joe Johnson got offered $119 million by the Hawks. STAT is clearly going to get a max offer from some NBA team.
With those three large pieces of important information considered, it doesn’t take a genius to understand that the chances of Stoudemire coming back to Phoenix currently aren’t very good, and the Suns are losing ground on teams like the Miami Heat and New York Knicks.
Stoudemire and Walters already have met with Pat Riley and have trips to New York and Chicago on tap, and a reported six teams are interested in the five-time All-Star forward. As mentioned before, the Knicks are the team linked to the deal that is deemed Amare’s “best so far.”
And there a few teams in contention other than the Knicks and Heat. The Toronto Raptors recently entered the Amare sweepstakes in hopes of reaching a sign-and-trade deal with the Suns, according to KTAR’s John Gambadoro.
The Houston Rockets are also seeking a sign-and-trade and the Chicago Bulls and New Jersey Nets are in pursuit. Needless to say, there is no shortage of suitors for Stoudemire and Phoenix has apparently been discussing low-end replacement options.
ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that the Suns have shown the most interest in a potential Amare replacement — Chicago Bulls free agent forward Hakim Warrick. Phoenix and the 6-foot-9 forward have gone as far as to exchange contract figures. New York and Denver are also rumored to be interested in Warrick.
And on top of that Coro tweeted that recently re-signed Raptors forward Amir Johsnon (5/$34 million) was a Plan B of sorts for Phoenix.
But despite the swirling rumors, nothing is official, Stoudemire and the Suns are still in contact, and Phoenix can always up its offer. So the ball is somewhat still in the Suns’ court, but will Sarver stray from his seemingly steadfast four-year offer?
It will be a drama-packed weekend filled with Amare Stoudemire rumors, but as of now it looks like the Suns might need to search for a replacement at power forward.