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Stoudemire Would Be First Big Free Agent To Change Teams

With the NBA free agency chaos now in full swing, the New York Knicks are reportedly on the verge of making a big splash. But it isn’t the Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, or Chris Bosh signing that most New York fans are still hoping for. Instead, it appears that free agent forward Amare Stoudemire is nearing an agreement on a 5-year, $100-million max contract with the Knicks. The deal, if completed, would coincide with the Phoenix Suns’ recent 4-year deal with Hakim Warrick, an indication that they had moved on from attempting to re-sign Stoudemire.

From Yahoo! Sports:

The framework of the deal, which would give Stoudemire a $17.2 million starting salary next season, is in place and the two sides are expected to talk again soon, sources said. Stoudemire is expected to travel to New York on Saturday.

The Suns made a last-ditch proposal to Stoudemire, offering him a five-year contract that guaranteed him $71 million, sources said. The first three seasons were fully guaranteed. The fourth season contained a 50 percent guarantee that could become fully guaranteed based on the number of minutes Stoudemire played in the first three seasons. The fifth season of the contract also could become guaranteed based on a minutes incentive.

Stoudemire would reunite with former coach Mike D’Antoni and his up-tempo style offense that he perfected during his time in Phoenix. While James, Wade, and Bosh are expected to patiently sort through their numerous options this offseason, Stoudemire evidently will sign early and help set the market by jumping on board with the Knicks.

Knicks’ president Donnie Walsh is wasting no time on his next targets, though. In Chicago, where a free-agent extravaganza of meetings is currently taking place, Dwyane Wade met with the Knicks earlier today and came away “intrigued”. If Stoudemire and Wade both end up playing in Madison Square Garden next season, the Knicks will undoubtedly be one of the offseason’s biggest winners.