Amare Stoudemire and the New Yorks Knicks agree on five-year, $100 million deal

After an eight-season run in Phoenix, Amare Stoudemire is headed to the Big Apple, with a big contract. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)

The “Welcome, Amare Stoudemire” banner, complete with a picture of the big man in a Knicks uniform, said it all Monday. It’s finally official.

Stoudemire and the New York Knicks agreed in principle to a five-year, $100 million contract, according to an report, making Stoudemire the first major free agent to switch teams.

“No one wanted to make the first move and I feel confident enough to take that first step and hopefully now we can bring a few guys in to join me,” Stoudemire told

The Knicks have been the front runner to sign the five-time NBA All-Star since talks with Phoenix, where Stoudemire played all eight seasons of his career, broke down Friday.

Stoudemire rejected the Suns’ five-year, $96.6 million offer because only three years were guaranteed due to concerns over his injury history.

The simple fact that the Knicks had a banner ready to welcome Stoudemire should signal that this deal has been pretty much done since Saturday when the team first hosted Stoudemire. Stoudemire seemed to tip his hand as well Saturday night by recruiting Tony Parker and Carmelo Anthony, who will be free agents next summer (like we really need another free agent frenzy).

The cross-country move reunites Stoudemire with former Suns coach Mike D’Antoni, under whom the forward blossomed into a bona fide NBA superstar, averaging more than 20 points each season with the coach. Prior to the announcement of Stoudemire’s signing, the two sat down for breakfast to clear any bad blood.

D’Antoni now gets a legitimate scorer to anchor his up-tempo offense, but the Knicks are surely still trying to add LeBron James or Dwyane Wade with the hope that Stoudemire will be an enticing factor.

Stoudemire, though, clearly believes that he has what it takes to vault the Knicks back to prominence. When meeting reporters outside Madison Square Garden Monday in a blue Knicks hat, Stoudemire boldy declared that “the Knicks are back.”

In New York, Stoudemire now has the grand stage he has clearly desired his whole career. From Yankees games to Broadway shows and constant media attention (and scrutiny…), Stoudemire will live a life much different than he had in Phoenix. One more fitting of his brash personality and love of the spotlight.

On top of all that, he can go back to not worrying at all about defense (as opposed to the minimal thoughts he seemed to give it after D’Antoni left).

“Totally comfortable, totally confident that my leadership qualities will uplift all of us to do something great this upcoming season,” Stoudemire told ESPN. “So again, the Knicks are back.”

While STAT’s arrival in the Big Apple may or may not lead to big things, it certainly signals the end of an era in Phoenix. After eight seasons, countless trade rumors and, most recently, a surprise run to the Western Conference Finals, the Suns’ go-to guy is moving on. Stoudemire thanked everyone from his Phoenix stint via Twitter Monday night:

“I want to say thanks to all my SUNS Fans. Thanks to my PHX SUNS teammates, an [sic]the Coaches. I love you guys, sorry It didn’t work out. Gone!”

Though the Suns seemed to have replaced Stoudemire with free agent Hakim Warrick, the team’s offense loses a 30- or 40-point threat and could struggle to replace his scoring. But more than a dominant scorer, the Valley loses a fan favorite at a time when the Suns are financially unable to obtain an equivalent.

Mike Schmitz contributed to this report.

Tags: Amar'e Stoudemire Free Agency New York Knicks

  • Kyle S

    I'm not a salary cap pro, but doesn't the sign and trade allow NY to exceed the cap – and thus allow them to sign 3 max players instead of 2?

  • phx

    Well our days of contending appear to be over.

  • Hersey

    Suns blew this. You dangle a guy for two years then let him walk without any compensation. A smart GM… oh wait the Suns don't have one because they let Kerr walk 2 weeks before free agency. $arver!!!

  • KyonoRocks

    I thought the plan this year was to get some cap space for next year, but the only free agent worth max money would be Melo right? Lets hope him and Amar'e aren't as good friends as it seems…

    What other stars are free next year that we'd be interested in?

  • Mel.

    “Totally comfortable, totally confident that my leadership qualities will uplift all of us to do something great this upcoming season,” Stoudemire told ESPN. “So again, the Knicks are back.”

    I really hope it's true, STAT. Otherwise you're gonna have a looooong way to fall.

  • $arver

    Sasha Vujacic is free in 2011. I hear he and Dragic are good friends.

  • Bob

    Yeah. Sasha and Dragic have one heck of a secret handshake. But seriously besides Melo and Durant there's no A-lister there. However I was thinking perhaps we can get Zach Randolph either next year or during a trade this season. I know the guy is one of those cancer guys but he seems to have shaped up (in more ways than one) last season.

  • Mike L

    Zach Randolph is absolutely NOT the guy you want. I live in PDX and we dealt with his crud for too many years. To get a sense, think of a fatter, lazier Amare with twice the complex about supposedly being "the man."

  • Mike L

    Hey, does anyone have any idea how close the friendship is/is not between Hakeem Warrick and Carmelo Anthony? They were teammates at Syracuse and I wonder if there is anything brewing about possibly signing an old friend to the Suns roster as a draw for 'Melo along with the draw of playing with Nash.

  • ILoveTaint

    Amare chose dollars over contending. The Knicks are not going to get the King or Dwade. There are already reports Nuggets will have a decent chance of locking Melo up for another 3 years. Knicks will be a middle of the road team. They will not be as good as Magic and Celtics and (insert team or teams that lands two max players such as Bron and Bosh or Wade and Boozer etc. probably will be on the level of the Hawks at best if EVERYthing works out with Amare and D'Antoni gets a few decents players to run his style.

  • ILoveTaint

    I could see Knicks as a 4 or 5 seed in the East at best and not up to par with many playoff teams in the West with just Amare if they don't get another max guy.

  • Mel.

    ^Which I doubt they will. It doesn't seem like Amar'e was ever in the "loop" as far as LBJ and D-Wade's plans for the season were concerned, and he might have actually shot himself in the foot by being the first guy out of the gate.

    NY doesn't need Bosh AND Amar'e, but it seems like they're closer to getting him than D-Wade or Lebron. You could still argue for Bosh to make it to the Cavs or Heat, or for two of the three "max trinity" guys left to make it happen in Chicago, but nothing about this deal feels like it adds a persuasive dimension to the Knicks getting that second max-money contract.

    Worse yet, it bumps Lee into rotation as a prospective role player for another team. What happens if Lebron stays in Cleveland and they sign Bosh, then Lee goes to the Heat to team with D-Wade? That leaves STAT and T-Mac to twiddle their thumbs in NYC, and–like Taint said–a fourth or fifth seed as a realistic goal.

    Also, some part of me can't see another max-contract name reading STAT's "leadership gospel" or his onerous claims about swaying 'Melo and Tony Parker as being selling points. A franchise player like Wade (With a franchise player-sized ego) isn't going to read that kind of jibber-jabber and go "alright, I'm more than happy to play second banana to this guy."

  • JohnC

    If what John Hollinger from ESPN says below is correct, the Suns front office made a huge error.

    "The Suns, who have no general manager or assistant GM at the moment, apparently thought they had to renounce their rights to Stoudemire once they agreed with Warrick and Frye. Alas, that simply isn't true. It doesn't matter in what order deals are agreed to; what matters is the order in which they're signed. Phoenix could have received contracts worth slightly more than $2 million in a sign-and-trade provided they had executed that deal before Warrick signed his contract.

    Here's how it works. Under a little-known provision, the Suns could have removed Frye's cap hold by signing him with their midlevel exception first, because they still would have been over the cap while Stoudemire's cap hold stayed on their books. Then they could have sign-and-traded him to another team and taken back just enough salary to leave them $4 million under, enabling them to sign Warrick under the cap.

    The Suns weren't going to get a treasure trove out of this in any case, but they could have received a couple of minor assets for their trouble in getting Stoudemire and his new team a more favorably structured deal (a sixth year for Stoudemire, which could happen only in a sign-and-trade — plus, the larger raises permitted in such deals would have let his new club spread the money out over a longer period to create more cap space).

  • Mel.

    ^LMAO. Did they have someone from WorkBest Temp Agency manning the phones when this happened, or something?

    Times like this make me love being a Suns fan.

  • Mike Meez

    Just read Hollinger's article on the deal and I'll try to summarize the sign-and-trade stuff.

    Basically, he said that the Suns should have signed Frye to the Mid-Level Exception first while Amar'e was still on the roster because Suns would be over the cap. Then sign and trade Amare for David Lee or other pieces from the Knicks. Third, sign Warrick to his deal and the Suns would be $4 million under instead of only $2.

    I don't completely understand all of this to be honest but Hollinger is a smart guy so I trust him when he says that Sarver screwed up. Or Sarver had to be really confident that a sign and trade was not at all possible.

    Also, I don't understand why we couldn't do a sign and trade still. Hollinger was talking in the past tense but to my knowledge nothing gets signed until July 8, everything is verbal at this point. So maybe Sarver could read Hollinger, realize his mistake, and try a sign and trade?

    I'm no expert at this stuff but you would think Sarver would be considering he could save millions of dollars.

  • Kyle S

    So, is it reasonable to conclude the Suns messed up by jumping the gun too early in signing Hakim Warrick and thus renouncing the rights to Amare? I we had waited, wouldn’t it have been possible to complete a sign and trade w/ the Knicks for David Lee while staying under the salary cap to sign Warrick as a back up instead?

    The Suns front court court wuold then have Lopez, Frye, Lee, Warrick and Clark.

    Is this a reasonable assumption/possibility?

  • Michael Schwartz

    I've been thinking about the Warrick-Carmelo connection. Wonder if they are close. Maybe the Suns can sign Gerry McNamara for the Taylor Griffin role to really make this all Orange.

    The Hollinger stuff is sickening. I've been wondering all that myself and all we've gotten is Coro saying the Suns don't think a beneficial sign and trade was out there. Why the Suns didn't make a bigger effort is beyond me.

  • Al

    Contracts can’t be renounced until July 8th. Suns are still in possession of STAT’s contracts. The Warrick deal is verbal agreement and can be canceled since they haven’t signed any contracts. I think everyone is waiting on Lebron to choose a team before they start rearranging deals (I doubt James is heading to the Knicks). Sarver may still be pursuing Lee for all we know. He might have taken a detour and offered Warrick a deal in case Lee doesn’t agree to come to Phoenix. Warrick is the Suns back-up option which they wanted to secure first before going after Lee. Sarver may be waiting for all the other teams to make their offers before he calls Lee and offers him a deal. If Lee agrees to join the Suns; then, Sarver will go to Stoudemire and offer to give him the 6 year max contract if he does the sign and trade to NY for Lee, which Stat will gladly accept. Suns fans in the David Lee bandwagon need to keep their hopes up. Warrick is the secured back up option if Lee rejects Sarvers offer. Remember Turkoglu had made a verbal agreement with the Blazers last year and changed his mind to go with the Raptors offer instead. Verbal agreements aren’t DEFINITE.

  • dj

    Yeah I sure hope Lee is a possibility.

  • Mike Meez

    I get why Stoudemire and the Suns would want to work out a sign-and-trade (Amar’e could get another year on his contract and the Suns would get something instead of letting Amar’e walk) but why would the Knicks be interested in this deal? What would they get out of it? Does trading for Amar’e rather than signing him as a free agent help their salary cap or something?

  • Michael Schwartz

    The Knicks would only like it if Amare says that’s what they have to do for him to sign. Which he hasn’t. So yeah, no real incentive for the Knicks.

  • Dave

    You forgot Lopez. We need Lee and if we can get Warrick without going over the salary cap then I am all for it. Suns also need one or 2 guards. I wonder if the Knicks would be willing to part with Wilson Chandler (SG/SF) in a possible sign and trade with David Lee. I like the whole sign Warrick to motivate Melo to sign with the Suns next off season.

  • Mike Meez

    John C beat me to it. Starting writing then went to dinner haha.

  • Brian


  • Freddy

    Amare is not a Leader. I hope he breaks his knee within the first year of his contract. He had NO intention of signing with the Suns. He is a perfect example of a player chasing money and not a championship.

    Good riddance.

  • CornFlakes

    You better believe that the Knicks will soon regret paying max money when he stops playing like a max-contract player. Running the pick-n-roll with Chris Duhon? HA!!!

    This signing screams the obvious: STAT wanted money and media glory more than a championship(s): he signed to the largest basketball market in the country! Now he’s gonna chug through that contract in no hurry for a couple of years before he blows out one of his knees.

    Oh yeah New York. You guys scored big time….

  • Mike L

    Just read in the AZRepublic that the Suns are actually (possibly) working on a S&T with NY and Chi. We’ll see …

  • Dave

    I think Sarver is trying to acquire Lee in a Sign and Trade now that Stoudemire has chosen to go to the Knicks. Suns seriously need to unload LB’s contract (The Boston deal is perfect if Rasheed is willing to retire.) I think Scottie Reynolds could be a good replacement for LB at a more affordable contract if Suns sign him from the summer league. However, I don’t get why Suns are willing to acquire both Lee and Warrick in a trade. The suns don’t need Warrick for a reserve if we are able to acquire Lee at the starting PF since the Suns have several rookie PF’s that can play off the bench. Suns also need to not take the team options for Dwayne Jones and Taylor Griffin. I am going to miss both Jones and Griffin. (They were SO vital in the suns playoff run last season) I am guessing Sarver has realized that if he wants something done right he has to do it his way which is why he’s handling the free agency and is willing to take all the blame if he screws up (Sarver may be growing up as a Team owner). Hopefully, Sarver is able to acquire David Lee from the Knicks and hires a great GM like Pritchard or Ferry or Chuck.

  • Derek

    Man I hope the sign and trade goes through. There’s no way we can let Amare go without getting any compensation.

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  • Mike L

    Dave, I agree. Although I would say that our roster would look like an overall improvement next year if we have both Lee and Warrick on the roster. And don’t forget we could use both Lee and Warrick cause our young guys are YOUNG. Then we have the added Free Agency flexibility next year to sign Jared Dudley. People keep forgetting that his deal will be coming up next year.

    This would give us:
    Nash-Richardson-Lee-Warrick-Hill to start
    Dragic-Dudley-Clark-Frye off the bench with a rookie or two thrown in for good measure.
    (Notice I left LB out.)

  • Mike L

    Oh, by the way … anyone else notice the irony of two of our big guys being drafted by Isaiah Thomas??? Frye was #8 and Lee #30 NYK picks in the 2005 first round of the draft.

  • suns68

    It's fun to spin fantasy league scenarios, but bottom line: Amare's gone, we can't replace him, we're not serious championship contenders any more and we won't be for some time to come.

    I think a lot of people have been spoiled by the Suns' success these last 6 or so years and as a result don't really understand that to be more than a mid-level playoff team, you've got to have a superstar to carry the team.

    Westphal could. Barkley could. Amare could.

    I came to this conclusion reluctantly after decades of convincing myself that guys like Truck Robinson, Andrew Lang, Oliver Miller and Zarko Cabarkaba could make a difference.

    David Lee's a good player, but every team (except apparently us) has a David Lee or someone like him. Hakim Warricks are dime a dozen in the NBA and Earl Clark has been so ineffective, playing against scrubs in garbage time, that even a coach like Gentry who wants to play everyone doesn't put him in the rotation.

    Like Amare said, the Knicks are back. So are the Suns. But what we're back to is either just barely making the playoffs or just barely missing.

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  • cbrent

    Enter to win a free PS3 signed by Amare

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