Knicks near deal with Stoudemire

Amar’e Stoudemire(notes) 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.

Stoudemire’s departure from the Suns was all but clinched after the Phoenix Suns reached agreement with forward Hakim Warrick(notes) on a four-year, $18 million contract , league sources said.

The Suns moved forward with Warrick after negotiations with Stoudemire stalled. Stoudemire’s agent Happy Walters had a late-night conversation Thursday with Suns owner Robert Sarver, who insisted he couldn’t wait any longer on Stoudemire’s decision and would need to consider other options. Stoudemire was not ready to commit, sources said, because he wanted to see how the rest of the free-agent market played out and he believed he could get a better offer from the Knicks or another team.

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 believed the Knicks were prepared to give Stoudemire a maximum offer with all five seasons guaranteed and weren’t prepared to go that high. The Heat expressed similar concern about Stoudemire’s previous injuries, but were preparing to make an offer if they don’t land Chris Bosh(notes). The Houston Rockets tried to deal for Stoudemire in February and also explored possible sign-and-trade scenarios with him in free agency.

Stoudemire has played all eight seasons of his NBA career with the Suns since they took him with the ninth pick in 2002.


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Updated Friday, Jul 2, 2010