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Blog Entry

Knicks agree with Amar'e (UPDATE)

Posted on: July 5, 2010 4:34 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2010 6:27 pm
 
As the basketball world waits for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to decide their futures, the Knicks are moving forward with a five-year, $99.8 million deal with Amar'e Stoudemire -- a pre-emptive strike that could send the rest of the free-agent dominoes tumbling, a person with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com.

Stoudemire and Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan began meeting at about 4:15 p.m. ET Monday and finalized a verbal agreement on the contract shortly before 6 p.m., a second person with knowledge of the agreement said. All that's left is to clarify the complicated landscape of support pieces that the Knicks would surround Stoudemire with this year or next. Stoudemire will wear No. 1 for the Knicks, according to the marquee at Madison Square Garden, which essentially announced an agreement that should accelerate the rest of the free-agent activity in this momentous summer for the NBA.

Yahoo! Sports first reported the meeting Monday between Stoudemire, his agent, Happy Walters, and Dolan -- a gathering that produced the first, and perhaps only instance of a top-flight free agent leaving his team during the most anticipated offseason in league history.

After Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki and Joe Johnson agreed to return to their own teams, Stoudemire is the first marquee free agent to do what in past free-agency periods has been almost unheard of -- change teams as an All Star-caliber unrestricted free agent. While the move sets up the Knicks to move forward with or without one of their top two targets -- LeBron and Wade -- getting a commitment from Stoudemire serves the dual purpose of allowing them to use it to entice one of them or move on to add other pieces this summer or next.

An executive familiar with the Knicks' strategy said the team has received word through "back channels" that signing Stoudemire wouldn't hamper their chances of landing another top-shelf free agent this summer.

According to multiple team executives pursuing James and Wade, neither player has informed any of the teams chasing them that they are out of the running. James isn't expected to make a decision until his three-day Nike camp concludes Wednesday in his hometown of Akron. Wade returned to Miami Monday and was seen at American Airlines Arena with Heat owner Mickey Arison. With Stoudemire committed to the Knicks, those players will have witnessed something that the rest of the NBA has been waiting to see from them -- a decision and a direction.

"We have verbally agreed with the best Knick since Patrick Ewing," said a team official speaking on condition of anonymity because free-agent signings aren't official until July 8. "If he becomes the second-best Knick, then great. If not, we move on. If two players change teams and we've gotten one of them, we think that's pretty good."

Given James' comments during All-Star weekend that he would've been amenable to pairing with Stoudemire at the trade deadline -- and Amar'e's statement since the end of the season that such a pairing would've resulted in a "championship" -- the Knicks are comfortable making the first big move of this complicated chess match. According to a person familiar with the organization's strategy, a commitment from Stoudemire won't necessarily ensure a commitment from James -- but it won't hurt the team's pursuit of him, either. Regardless, faced with paralyzing indecision on the part of James, Wade and Bosh, the Knicks felt compelled to move forward with a pre-emptive strike.

As the only team assured of using all its cap space this summer and still having room to add a major piece next summer when Eddy Curry's $11.3 million deal comes off the books, the opportunity to surround Stoudemire with championship-level talent evolves from a one-step process to a two-step process. Team president Donnie Walsh has been preparing for such a contingency since he arrived in New York two years ago and boldly outlined his strategy to rebuild the Knicks with an aggressive campaign to create cap space.

While there remain significant questions regarding the viability of Stoudemire's knees and concerns about an eye injury that required multiple operations, Walsh has tilted the playing field in the chase for top free agents. Rather than waiting for James and Wade to make their decisions, Walsh has put the ball in their court: Do you want to pair with Stoudemire, or not? If they don't, the Knicks already are exploring sign-and-trade options involving David Lee that would import a point guard to run the pick-and-roll with Stoudemire; sources say New York has had such discussions with Utah, Toronto, Houston, Golden State and Charlotte. The Warriors have been amenable to a swap that would send Monta Ellis to the Knicks, and the Bobcats could offer Raymond Felton -- although a Charlotte official denied Monday that such talks have taken place.

The biggest wild card in the Knicks' rapidly evolving plan is Carmelo Anthony, who has yet to commit to the Nuggets' three-year, $65 million extension offer. Sources close to Anthony believe that he ultimately will re-up with Denver, but acknowledge that he's intrigued by the free-agent movement this summer and the opportunities it could create for him to join a championship-ready team as an unrestricted free agent in 2011. The Knicks also have explored trade possibilities for Spurs point guard Tony Parker, but to this point have been rebuffed.






Comments

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: July 6, 2010 6:18 pm
 

Knicks agree with Amar'e (UPDATE)

Amare will look more like a stud if LeBron doesnt go to New York. With LeBron there, he won't get enough touches to score 25ppg. And without someone setting him up like Nash he won't be able to get his easy baskets. LeBron's game is to drive and score or dish.....Amare is already in the paint. LeBron would be dishing to guys on the perimeter, not the guy standing right next to him. Yeah, Amare runs the floor well, but not as well as LeBron. So there is no way he will get in front of him to get the easy dunks off transition. Amare and LeBron don't make a lot of sense together to me.

And Wade in Chicago????? Then they might as well trade derrick Rose. Those guys have the same type of game. Drive to the basket and score or dish the ball. Wade plays the same position as Rose. It drives me nuts when they call him a shooting guard. The guy is Miami's primary ball handler, and has been since he came into the league. He is a cross between a SG and a PG. More like a scoring point guard. He would be best suited to stay in Miami and try to lure Bosh. If I was Bosh, I'd be looking to follow Wade wherever he goes, not LeBron.



Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: July 6, 2010 6:00 pm
 

Knicks agree with Amar'e (UPDATE)

No way LeBron will sign for less than 2o mil a year.




Since: Jan 28, 2008
Posted on: July 6, 2010 12:09 pm
 

Knicks agree with Amar'e (UPDATE)

Sun's Fan I presume?



Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: July 6, 2010 1:48 am
 

Knicks agree with Amar'e (UPDATE)

Stoudemire is all about the money.  Phoenix ownership is also aware that Steve Nash makes all players around him a lot better.  So how good is Amare?  Suns ownership obviouly thought he was worth a lot less than he was commanding and now its time for the Suns to go out and find a replacement.  If Hakim Warrick can put up Amare like numbers than Nash is the best point guard of all time. 



Since: Feb 27, 2009
Posted on: July 6, 2010 1:48 am
 

Knicks agree with Amar'e (UPDATE)

stoudamire doesnt get doubled teamed because he is on PHX and if u double any1 on that team ur gonna pay because they gotta team full of shooters. any1 who thinks Nash is overated doesnt understand the point guard position. How does one figure d wade makes his teamates better when his teamates havent gotten him anywhere while Lebrons at least got him to the semifinals a few times and the NBA finals once. does run and gun win championship? heck no. But a potential Lebron Stoudamire pick and roll wud be VERY scary



Since: Aug 25, 2009
Posted on: July 6, 2010 1:13 am
 

Knicks agree with Amar'e (UPDATE)

Have to agree as well. Stoudamire's game, as has been written before, is best suited to work with a guy who can break down the opponent's defense and give Stoudamire the ball as he follows the play. Stoudamire, while he is a good jump-shooter, is not a guy who has a ton of moves in the low post. Carlos Boozer is a far superior low-post scorer in my book, though he lacks Stoudamire's athleticism and tends to struggle against taller opponents (see the 2010 Western Conference semi-finals against the Lakers for evidence). Stoudamire does not typically even command a double team from the better defensive teams. If he goes to New York, I do not see him thriving unless they do manage to get a point who complements him. And while Nash is in my opinion somewhat over-rated, he is a superior offensive player who looks to make his teammates better. The only other player on the list of supposed 'max-deal superstars' who truly does that is Wade. LeBron in my opinion is too focused on the assist and his game does not really make his teammates better the way a Dwyane Wade or a Steve Nash (or a Rajon Rondo, for that matter) seems to do. I think New York may regret this deal depending on how the remaining chips fall.

 

But we shall see. Maybe we are all wrong and Stoudamire will dominate in the Big Apple. For his sake I hope so - I don't see him as being thick-skinned enough to handle the media circus that will inevitably occur if the Knicks struggle with Stoudamire as their Number One guy.




Since: Nov 9, 2006
Posted on: July 5, 2010 11:59 pm
 

Knicks agree with Amar'e (UPDATE)

he hangs that 7.6 mostly because he's always double/triple teamed and therefore always has a WIDE OPEN target to pass to. It is quite common for a wide open NBA player to make the ensuing shot.



Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: July 5, 2010 11:24 pm
 

Knicks agree with Amar'e (UPDATE)

Lebron and Amare running the pick-n-roll would be a scary thing for teams to defend.  Having said that, if the Knicks don't sign Lebron now good luck to Amare, he won't regret the money but he will be loathing the loses.




Since: Jul 26, 2008
Posted on: July 5, 2010 11:15 pm
 

Knicks agree with Amar'e (UPDATE)

Phoenix Suns fan here...kind of sad that Stoudamire jumped ship but that's okay...the Suns cant win big with him or Nash....that's just the truth...your best players HAVE to play defense to win in the NBA.......I lied to myself for the past 5-6 yrs on that concept...you cant run and gun to a championship



Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: July 5, 2010 10:55 pm
 

Knicks agree with Amar'e (UPDATE)


I'm not a fan or a fan, although I now live in Phoenix.

New York will come to see that Amare is the most overrated player on the planet. He falls into the same vein as and . Looks good on highlights, will have games and do things that go WOW, but is not a winner. He had a an eight game stretch where he did 1, 5, 5, 5, 5, 7, 9, 7 rebounds per game (and that in a contract season). That is disgusting for a player with his athletic ability. He tries when he wants to, his basketball IQ is very low, he is immature, he doesn't play defense. He is a great offensive player when he wants to be and can win a few games single-handedly here and there.

That is an ubiased view. Phoenix is a bit worse off losing him, New York is no better. All of the above is dismissing the Nash factor too.



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