Knicks, Stoudemire close to deal

Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Amare Stoudemire is close to finalizing an agreement with the New York Knicks.

Amar’e Stoudemire and the New York Knicks are making progress in talks on a five-year maximum guaranteed contract and a deal could be completed as soon as Friday, league sources told Y! Sports.

The framework of a deal is in place and the two sides are expected to talk again soon, sources said.

The Knicks’ free agency was looking a little gloomy, but this certainly helps. LeBron was reportedly more impressed with the Nets’ presentation, but now that Stoudemire has (almost) committed, the Knicks do have a stronger case to make.

If he can stay healthy, Stoudemire should thrive in Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo system. It’s not clear what this means for David Lee, who could play alongside Stoudemire if D’Antoni elected to run Amare at the five. Neither player is particularly good on the defensive end.

How did things fall apart in Phoenix?

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.

The Suns put in the incentives because of concerns over Stoudemire’s past knee and eye injuries. Insurance won’t cover Stoudemire’s salary if he can’t play because of any additional problems to either of his knees or his right eye.

The Suns were wise to proceed with caution with regard to Stoudemire’s injury history. The Knicks are showing a lot of faith in his ability to stay healthy, but they are/were in a tough spot and had to commit guaranteed dollars to get him to sign.

I’m not sure why the Suns aren’t working out a sign-and-trade for Stoudemire to acquire Lee from the Knicks. He seems like he’d be a natural replacement for Amare in that offense.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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