Amar'e Stoudemire may not be leaving Arizona, but he's also going to get his money right now, not later.
As KB puts it to us, Amar'e exercised his opt-out and will become an unrestricted free agent at midnight. The news isn't shocking, even though the Suns have been working with Stoudemire and his agent on a deal for the past 24 hours in an attempt to avoid him going on the open market. Early reports had the initial offer as a four year deal . This is probably why Amar'e chose to opt-out. He's probably still re-signing with the Suns, but realized he could get more by applying leverage through the opt-out.
Need an explanation? Suns blog Bright Side of the Sun has it for you .
Here's how it boils down.
If Amare were to have signed the four year extension being offered, he would have walked away with $103.67 million over the next five years.
If he re-signs with the Suns now that he's opted out he can make $104.04 million for the same length of term (5 years including next season), and wait to try and get the sixth year out of owner Robert Sarver.
If he goes to another team, he's looking at $99.74 million for five years.
So if money is the most important thing to Stoudemire, he'll be back in Phoenix. But the money may not be the important thing if Stoudemire is tired of how the Suns have dangled him over the trade ledge for two season, if he wants a change of scenery, or if he realizes he only has a handful of seasons left with Steve Nash.
There were reports that the Knicks would be meeting with Amar'e tonight after a rumored sitdown with Joe Johnson on the west coast, but ESPN New York is refuting that report today . If teams want to have a talk with Stoudemire, they had better get in the door fast, because it looks like Robert Sarver is serious about keeping STAT.