Chad Ford reports
Amare Stoudemire’s days in Phoenix are over. Two league sources confirmed that Stoudemire ended his negotiations with the Suns on Thursday, essentially ending his tenure with the Suns.
The decision to end negotiations comes despite the public posturing the past few weeks that indicated that Stoudemire wanted to return to Phoenix. However, sources say that Stoudemire’s desire to leave Phoenix dates back to the tough negotiations he had with Suns owner Robert Sarver in Februrary. Stoudemire’s camp knew that it was highly unlikely that Sarver would offer Stoudemire a five-year deal at max numbers and Stoudemire has been worried that even if he did, he’d gut the rest of the team to pay for it.
When Stoudemire received the Suns “final offer” — a five-year, $95 million deal with partial guarantees on the last two years contingent on Stoudemire playing a minimum of 2,200 minutes his third and fourth seasons, Stoudemire pulled out of negotiations.
“It wasn’t the right deal,” Stoudemire’s agent, Happy Walters, told the Arizona Republic. “There were too many caveats for us to be comfortable with it. Amare appreciated Robert’s and Alvin’s [Gentry] willingness to sit down with him. He’ll be sad to leave his teammates and the city he loves but it’s time to move on.”
The article also states
The only way the Suns can afford to sign both Channing Frye and Warrick under collective bargaining rules is to renounce the team’s rights to Stoudemire. Once renounced, the Suns no longer will have the ability to exceed the salary cap to re-sign Stoudemire. On Friday a source inside the Suns confirmed that the team will renounce his rights.
A couple of reasons
- David Lee is the most cost effective and immediate replacement for Amare Stoudemire.
- The Knicks could sign and trade Lee + the Suns could receive a trade exception worth $6-8 million which would allow them to make a further addition to their roster over the next 12 months.
- Channing Frye (five years $30 million) and Hakim Warrick (four years $18 million) are a waste of cap space. The Suns could have had over $11 in cap space but they’ve thrown it away on a pair of below average role players.
- If you are going to renounce Amare and create that cap space, at least use it intelligently
- Phoenix now lacks star power in a serious way after losing Marion a couple of seasons and Amare this offseason. Combine that with Nash’s age and you have an ugly mix.
A sign and trade for David Lee is the Suns best option. Lee can replace 90% of what Amare brings to the table for 60% of the cost. Add the trade exception and it’s a home run deal for Phoenix.
Anyway, it’s too late now. This move has already been decided. I just don’t like it.