G'morning, pipsqueaks. We're now into the third day of free agency, and it looks as if the Knicks have unofficially recruited one of the big names. The beat writers are now weighing in on a potential Amar'e Stoudemire signing, and the consensus is that it's a likely deal. Alan Hahn has the details:
Stoudemire has yet to make his scheduled visit to New York - that is supposed to occur Monday - but multiple NBA insiders involved in the process told Newsday that the five-time All-Star power forward is ready to accept a five-year, $92-million contract with the Knicks.
Stoudemire, 27, would reunite with Mike D'Antoni , who coached him for four seasons with the Phoenix Suns from 2004-08. They shared a mercurial relationship, but right now, they need each other.
Stoudemire, who had microfracture surgery on his knee in October 2005 and surgery to repair a detached retina in February 2009, wasn't drawing a great deal of interest, and the Knicks don't seem to be getting good vibes from free agents, either.
The Suns, who saw their injury protection-loaded final offer of five years and $94 million rejected by Stoudemire, waived his Bird rights Friday, a clear sign they have given up trying to re-sign him. Stoudemire talked to the Heat on Wednesday night in Los Angeles before having a phone conversation with D' Antoni .
Since signing Stoudemire alone would be an underwhelming summer catch, Amar'e and the Knicks are setting their sights on a perimeter partner for the big fella. Securing Stoudemire might very well draw the attention of a LeBron James, Esq. If not, Frank Isola believes the Knicks will set their sights on Tony Parker, while Hahn mentions Carmelo Anthony's name. Amar'e will likely try to woo those guys through his own channels (all the free agents and trade chips are in a secret Facebook group). Obviously, the addition of either Parker or Anthony would require a trade. Any deal of that sort would have to center around a sign-and-trade of David Lee, or perhaps the movement of Eddy Curry's expiring contract.
Basically, the Amar'e deal isn't done. If and when it gets done, though, the Knicks will have plenty of work left to do. My sense (based on nothing at all) is that business won't resume until Monday, but I'll keep an eye out and update if anything emerges over the weekend. Have triumphant days, my friends.
(P.S. For more on Stoudemire's free agency from the Phoenix perspective, I highly recommend this post at Bright Side of the Sun.)