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Amare Stoudemire Will Sign With New York Knicks

Amare Stoudemire will be a New York Knick. The former Phoenix Sun power forward will sign a five-year, $99.7-million contract with the team.

From the New York Times.

Early Monday night, Stoudemire emerged with a blue Knicks cap on his head and proclaimed, “The Knicks are back.”

It will be two more days before Stoudemire can sign a contract, after the N.B.A. lifts its annual moratorium on deals. But his handshake agreement — on a five-year contract worth about $99.7 million — was enough for team officials to start a small celebration.

Stoudemire, 27, is a five-time All-Star, a productive scorer and a supreme athlete and, when healthy, has been one of the premier power forwards in the league. He helped thePhoenix Suns make the Western Conference finals twice.

He is the most talented player to wear a Knicks uniform in more than a decade, since Patrick Ewing began to decline.

“The best thing about him is he will accept the challenge, and he will not shy away from it,” said Knicks Coach Mike D’Antoni, who coached Stoudemire for five seasons in Phoenix.

The other best thing about Stoudemire, Knicks officials hope, is his ability to recruit other elite free agents to New York. The Knicks are courting LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, who are expected to make a decision in the next few days.

Speaking of James, this is how views the signing.

The fact that the talented Stoudemire will be coming to New York to reunite with coach Mike D'Antoni -- he can sign the new contract, believed to be for five years and close to $100 million, as soon as Thursday -- says one of three things:

  • James has told the Knicks that he will not accept their offer, sending the message, in effect, to go out and get who you want.
  • James has told the Knicks that he is interested in Gotham and likes the idea of teaming up with Stoudemire.
  • James has not told the Knicks anything, but they decided to go ahead with Stoudemire anyway.
  • Regardless of how you view it, it looks like the Knicks are the first team to strike in this crazy NBA free-agent market.