Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver and coach Alvin Gentry will make a last-ditch contract extension offer to Amar’e Stoudemire(notes) at a meeting Tuesday in Los Angeles, a team source told Yahoo! Sports.
Unless Sarver comes with a maximum offer that convinces the All-Star forward to stay, Stoudemire will opt-out of the $17.6 million left on the final year of his contract and declare himself a free agent.
For the first time, Miami appears to be waning as a potential destination for Stoudemire. “Everybody thinks he’s going to Miami,” a source in the Stoudemire camp said, “but that probably won’t happen.”
Sources say Stoudemire is still interested in staying with the Suns, but the uncertainty surrounding the departures of the top two basketball executives – Steve Kerr and David Griffin – have further clouded the franchise’s direction. Still, sources say Stoudemire is looking for reasons to stay with Steve Nash(notes) and the Suns – not leave.
Should the Suns lose Stoudemire, sources say Sarver is considering the possibility of making a push for New York Knicks free-agent forward David Lee(notes). For the cost-cutting Sarver, Lee could be obtainable for $20 million-$30 million less over the life of a contract. Lee could command a five-year contract worth around $60 million. It would likely take the renouncing of valued bench player Channing Frye(notes) for the Suns to aggressively pursue Lee.
Sarver hasn’t been amenable, sources say, to dealing Stoudemire in a sign-and-trade. He wants less payroll, not more. Nevertheless, the Orlando Magic, Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs could be possibilities in sign-and-trade scenarios for Stoudemire.
“They would have to really love the players coming back in a sign-and-trade,” one source familiar with Sarver’s thinking told Yahoo! Sports. “Their plan has been [using] a big trade exception or particular players that make much less.”