Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:Amar'e Stoudemire
Posted on: July 3, 2010 10:21 am
Edited on: July 5, 2010 12:52 pm
 

Free-agency day 2 winners and losers

After the second day of the most important free-agency period in history, and one of the wildest, who were the winners and losers?

Winners:

New York Knicks: From worst to first in 24 hours, folks. Yesterday the Knicks were losers , having not made a dent in LeBron James and looking at the up close side of panic. But Friday, everything turned around for them. Their meeting with Dwyane Wade went well enough to get Wade to say he was "intrigued." And as close as these free agents are playing their cards to their vests? That's a huge win right there. Then, the Knicks advanced talks with Amar'e Stoudemire after the Suns basically let him walk, and came to a "broad agreement" with him , KB reported.  Huge upswing for the Knicks Friday.

Chicago Bulls: Any time you get one of the top free agents in the field who isn't one of your guys to provide a second meeting, along with the third best player? That's a win. Huge win. The Bulls jumped hard into this pool and made an impact. If they can convince LeBron James today to buy-in with Wade, they'll have pulled off one of the biggest gambles in NBA history and be the impact team for the next decade.

Los Angeles Lakers: Signed Steve Blake to a 4-year, $16 million deal, which essentially means that combined with Derek Fisher's expected one year, $2.5 million contract, they'll have their starter and backup point guard positions improved and solidified for $6.5 million. It's good to be on top.

Losers:

Miami Heat: Pat Riley made an impassioned plea   to LeBron James based on sacrificing to win championships, and the Heat have met with every available free agent except Dwyane Wade. So far, there have been no reports that anyone is "leaning" towards Miami aside from a few Chris Bosh rumblings. Meanwhile, Wade was "intrigued" by New York, and took a second meeting with the Bulls. Not a great day for the Heat, but they didn't lose much ground, it seems like.

Los Angeles Clippers: In a stunning turn of events, absolutely no one is talking about the Clippers' meetings having any effect whatsoever on any of the top free agents. It's almost like a lifetime of misery and bad luck compounded by having the worst owner in the NBA has negatively impacted their chances at getting a top free agent in the most competitive class ever. Huh.

Phoenix Suns: I like Hakim Warrick. You'd probably like Hakim Warrick. He works hard. He's tall. He's talented. He's not Standing Tall and Talented. He's not Amar'e. The Suns watched as arguably their best player (considering Steve Nash's age) walked away from the table, likely headed to New York. Even though the Suns chose to go this route and were proactive in their approach, it's still a rough day for the Suns, who had an era end for them today.

Posted on: July 2, 2010 4:59 pm
 

Knicks bounce back, 'intrigue' Wade

It was not a great opening 24 hours of free agency for the New York Knicks. The second 24 hours are shaping up to be much better.

Before talks with Amar'e Stoudemire made significant progress , the Knicks met with Dwyane Wade. The Knicks have brought out the big guns again to try and lure Wade, and it appears they made an impact.

ESPN New York reports that Wade came out of the meeting, and in a rare move from one of the vaunted "Big 3," made a statement that wasn't via Twitter. Via ESPN:

"It was a good meeting, a real good meeting," Wade said after the meeting that lasted about two hours and 15 minutes. "I will say I'm intrigued."

Now, that's far from any sort of thing resembling the beginning of a start to approaching a commitment, but it is a public recognition of one of the free-agency suitors as a positive influence. And coming on the heels of a day where LeBron James is said to have been less impressed with the Knicks , this was a pretty big sign for them.

The combination of Wade and Stoudemire would instantly make the Knicks into the contenders this free-agency period was supposed to mold them into. They're a long way from paydirt, but after an opening round that saw them get their bell rung by their neighbors in Jersey/Brooklyn, the reports coming out today were much better for the Knicks.
Posted on: July 2, 2010 4:34 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2010 4:35 pm
 

Knicks serious about Amar'e

Just like that, the winds of fortune change. Three days ago, Amar'e Stoudemire was expected to remain a Phoenix Sun. The Suns had gotten to the negotiating table early, often and hard. But the Suns wanted to go no further than four years for the explosive power forward, while Stoudemire and his agent were holding strong for five years. Finally, the Suns went to the table one last time Thursday night with a concession.

Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Suns offered a five year deal, with only the first three years guaranteed , and the last two dependent upon minutes. Stoudemire and his agent said no thanks, and began to pursue other offers.

The Suns? They opted to reach an agreement with Hakim Warrick, effectively ending their ties to Amar'e Stoudemire. An interesting side note: If the Suns do not reach an agreement to sign-and-trade Stoudemire (say, to the Rockets) in the next six days, in order to sign Warrick they'll have to renounce the rights to Stoudemire, meaning they'll be unable to facilitate said sign-and-trade of significant assets (info courtesy of Coro ).

So with Amar'e having left the Valley, who should show up?

Donnie Walsh and the PowerPoint toting Knicks. Yahoo! Sports reports that the Knicks are zeroing in on a 5-year maximum contract deal for Stoudemire. The move would be both surprising and a huge coup for Walsh, D'Antoni and company, who need to land a second max free agent in order to convince LeBron James to follow suit.

Signing Amar'e is no guarantee, just ask the Suns. But Stoudemire had his best seasons under Mike D'Antoni. There was a lot of talk that D'Antoni would never want to deal with Stoudemire's attitude again, but that obviously seems off. And somewhere, lurking in the shadows, is the fact that Joe Johnson, another former D'Antoni player, has not signed his max contract from the Atlanta Hawks yet, despite two sources confirming to CBSSports.com's Ken Berger that the contract is fully guaranteed.

All of a sudden, the Knicks could be right back in the thick of this. We'll keep you updated on if Stoudemire becomes a "done deal" in advance of the July 8th signing day.

-Matt Moore


Posted on: July 2, 2010 12:04 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2010 12:07 pm
 

Suns agree to terms with Warrick, Amar'e gone?

Amar'e Stoudemire may have dunked his last alley-oop in the Valley of the Suns .

Yahoo! Sports reports that the Suns have agreed to a four year, $18 million deal with free agent power forward Hakim Warrick. That pretty much spells the end of Amar'e in Phoenix. Especially considering the report also states that the Suns finally offered Amar'e a five-year contract, the hold-up in the efforts to re-sign him, but that the deal was dependent upon minutes played and the last two seasons were non-guaranteed. That's a pretty far gap from where Stoudemire wants to be, with a five-year, guaranteed, big money contract.

The signing of Warrick indicates that the Suns felt they had to move on after the latest talks stalled, and in this kind of market, there's no way applying pressure to Stoudemire is going to work. He's got major money, five-year offers waiting from multiple teams, and can likely negotiate with the Rockets on a sign and trade deal the Suns will agree to. He's heavily rumored to be leaning towards New York and a reunion with Mike D'Antoni.

As far as Warrick himself, he brings low production and high athleticism to the team at a valued price. It's hard to think that $18 was really a good price for him, but it does make a clear statement that the Suns are moving on. Warrick in the run and gun system with Nash is an intriguing prospect, considering that per 36 minutes last season he averaged close to 17 and 9. Warrick turns 28 in a few days, and has never really gotten significant minutes. Apparently the Suns saw enough in him to devote some payroll to him in order to avoid being put in a jam by Stoudemire's wandering eye.

A very different era in Suns basketball looks ready to begin, but nothing is anywhere near final yet.

-Matt Moore

Posted on: July 2, 2010 11:50 am
 

Free-agency layup line: Dinner reservations

All of the little free-agency stories that flow through. We'll have several of these throughout the day, updated regularly.

Yahoo Sports! reports that the Rockets are aiming for a sign and trade package featuring Luis Scola (also a free agent), Shane Battier, and Trevor Ariza. General Manager Daryl Morey is still trying to swoop in and snatch up a max free agent power forward, either Chris Bosh or Amar'e Stoudemire. If the Suns continue to be unwilling to provide that fifth year, then Morey is going to offer one of the more impressive packages for the Suns, with reasonable contracts and high end talent.

The Celtics have reached out to David Lee, according to the Boston Globe. A curious move considering the Celtics' cap space. With Paul Pierce considering a 4 year, $61 million offer and Ray Allen sure to attract his own substantial digits, you have to wonder where the Celtics are going to find room for Lee, who is arguably the third best power forward available (depending on how you feel about Carlos "I enjoy the feeling of being blocked" Boozer). That's a lot of dough the Celtics would have to provide, and figuring out how Lee and Kevin Garnett would occupy the same space on the floor would be a bit tricky too.

Hoopsworld reports that Real Madrid in Spain has inked Sergio Rodriguez. Have I mentioned the Knicks are going to need a point guard? Because they're going to need a point guard.

-Matt Moore
Posted on: July 1, 2010 5:39 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2010 5:41 pm
 

Amar'e Stoudemire hedging away from Phoenix

And things looked so promising just a day ago for the Suns to re-sign Amar'e Stoudemire.

So much for that idea.

Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic writes that talks between Amar'e Stoudemire and the Phoenix Suns have reached an impasse . The impossible roadblock? Amar'e wants five years, the Suns want to offer 4. That extra year is so vital, Ric Bucher of ESPN reports that Amar'e is now a longshot to return, and is considering Miami.

Pat Riley is trying to convince Stoudemire using what is referred to as the "power of three" PowerPoint presentation that outlines how championship cores are built on a nucleus of three. Much like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, and Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal. But anyway, it's a good pitch, and Riley is pitching Florida's no-state tax as a selling point. The probably issue is going to be that Stoudemire has never felt he's a third banana. Being the least important cog in a Dwyane-Wade-LeBron-James-Amar'e triangle may not sit well with his ego. That's before we start to consider how much Stoudemire would have to adjust to the play of the other two.

Phoenix still remains in this thing, with Stoudemire's agent Happy Walters trying to get a deal done. But Walters is adamant that no deal will be done without that fifth year, and Robert Sarver isn't known to be the kind of owner who buckles when things get tough financially. But in this kind of free agency climate, we've already seen two teams buckle to the demands of their stars to keep them with Joe Johnson in Atlanta and Rudy Gay in Memphis. The Suns will need to give Stoudemire what he wants if they want to keep him. The market has decided his value, not his performance. And it's that value that will impact his decision. Not his loyalty.

-Matt Moore

Posted on: June 30, 2010 6:07 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2010 11:40 am
 

2010 free-agency begins: Top 10 questions

It's here. It's finally here. The Free Agency Summer of Doom. At midnight tonight, everything goes down, like a lion or a lamb. Odds are we'll be surprised by what shakes out over the next two months, in some fashion. With that in mind, Ken Berger and Matt Moore answer some of the key questions about the biggest free agency period in NBA history, which starts in less than six hours. We talk about how the media is covering this circus, the impact of coaches, and Ken Berger makes a very surprising prediction...

1. Let's start with an easy one, the one almost everyone is talking about. Ken, you've said before you don't believe James will re-sign with the Cavs, but also that he won't elect for the three-headed monster of Bosh, Wade, and himself. So as teams pack their bags for the first visit, where do you think James is leaning?


KB:
I still think he's leaning toward Cleveland, but that's because he hasn't heard what anyone has to say yet. Despite all the opportunities at his fingertips -- the stage in New York, the talent in Chicago, the possibility of a Dream Team in Miami -- we still can't discount the Cavs. They have the most money to offer, and the comfort of home. Staying in one place has value in sports, too. When the process is over, however, I don't think LeBron will be able to pass up the allure of the Big City, the exposure he'll get there, what Mike D'Antoni's offense will do for him, and the opportunity to put whatever pieces he wants around him -- this year, and next, because the Knicks will have cap space next summer, too. So I'm in the minority on this, but what the heck, somebody has to predict it. I say he's going to the Knicks. If he does, it changes everything. Every other significant (and insignificant) free agent will be maneuvering to join him. If he doesn't, the Knicks will have a very good chance of striking out completely. None of the non-LeBron free agents want to be the guy who has to go to New York and live in the shadow of a player who never even played a minute there in the home jersey. It's all or nothing for the Knicks, I believe. But what a coup if it happens.

MM: The Bulls have to be the most obvious target. They combine a major market with huge endorsement and business opportunities with a playoff roster that's ready to contend and has years in front of it. They have the cap space. They have the idea of his name being next to his idol Michael Jordan (even though his game is more Magic Johnson). They can offer him a little of everything he wants, except the sixth year he can get with the Cavaliers. But in all honesty, this was likely never about the money. James knows his value goes far beyond what his salary from the NBA is. And the Bulls have all the pieces in place to make the best overall pitch.

2. We've had every conceivable rumor thrown out in the last week. The Nets are meeting with James first, the three met in Miami last weekend, the Knicks want Joe Johnson more than they want LeBron, the list goes on. What do you attribute all this conflicting chatter to? Who's gaining and advantage by feeding all this info, whether it's right or wrong?

KB: It's the Wild, Wild West of the Internet. Information is instant and world-wide now, whether it's right or wrong. There are always agendas involved, and different reporters possess differing levels of experience and abilities in sorting through the agendas and getting to the truth. Often, we fail. Often, it's not our fault. But by and large -- and Matt,  I know you'll agree -- the NBA is covered more thoroughly and more aggressively than any other (Note:"Amen!" -Ed. ). The amount of content, analysis, opinion and news that is available to the NBA fan, and the platforms it's available on, must make it an incredibly fun time to follow the sport. And a fun time to write about it and drink lots of coffee. 

MM: Everyone's got an agenda. Try and realize how much money is in play here. You've got the most massive talent agency in the world, CAA heavily involved in this process (they represent James, Dwyane Wade, and Bosh). You've got competing agents. You've got Nike. You've got ADIDAS. You've got Gatorade. You've got the New York Media. And you've got all the people surrounding all these guys. There are going to be people talking who shouldn't be, saying things they shouldn't be. It's a unique boiling point in sports media.

3. Wade's been steadfast in saying his heart's in Miami, but he's also made sure to say he's going to keep his options open. Is this more a case of the Heat having to screw up what they do in the next month in order to lose Wade, rather than really having to succeed to get him to re-sign?

KB: Pat Riley won't lose Wade. Period. He has a great player, a superior, warm weather city, plenty of cap space, and the possibility that he'd come downstairs and coach all these guys if he had to. And my belief is that he probably wants to. I mean, is Riley doing to stand idly by while Erik Spoelstra wins four titles with Wade and LeBron? Hail no. Having said that, I still don't think Wade and LeBron wind up together, and I certainly hope they don't. How boring and unambitious of them it would be. Magic and Bird, who spent their entire careers trying to kill each other, should boycott the NBA forever if this happens.

MM: It certainly seems that way. There's been no indication outside of Wade simply maintaining that out in his public statements that he's going anywhere. Moving Michael Beasley may be part of it, though. They've managed to get rid of everyone but Chalmers, Wade, and Beasley. Wade may want a more reliable third option, even if they land Chris Bosh or Amar'e Stoudemire. But Wade has been very committed to the community, it allows him to live as he wants, and he has won a ring there. He knows his legacy is greater if he sticks in one zip code. But more so than any of the other free agents, winning a championship is Wade's top priority. He's more singularly focused, and his decision will reflect that. Riley's come a long way in getting this done, and Wade's met him halfway. They've just got to seal the deal.

4. How much impact are Carlos Boozer and Amar'e Stoudemire going to have on this free agency period?


KB: A very large one. Stoudemire will continue to discuss an extension with the Suns, but he's clearly 1(b) to Chris Bosh's 1(a) in the power forward department. Assuming Dirk Nowitzki stays in Dallas (and I do), then Boozer is the next best thing. All of these guys -- LeBron, Wade, Joe Johnson -- want a go-to scorer on the block to make their lives easier. If push came to shove, any of the above is better than anyone they're currently playing with.

MM: Boozer will have more than he should, Amar'e less. Stoudemire is likely to re-sign with the Suns , even after opting out. Boozer on the other hand is going to buddy himself up to whichever team doesn't land two superstars. If that's Miami, great. If it's Chicago, fine. If it's New York, so be it. Boozer is going to present himself as the default max player for whoever doesn't land Bosh (or Amar'e). And it's going to work, even though Boozer is a block magnet that's getting older. Stoudemire, meanwhile, is going to take the money and stay put, even though he has the kind of resume and ability to challenge Bosh for best second-banana to either Wade or LeBron. Stoudemire will go for the cash, and he'll get it. And hey, playing a few more years with Steve Nash can't be bad for a guy.

5. Outside of the top level of elite guys, what's one player you think will end up benefiting from all of these teams with crazy amounts of cap space and only a handful of max players?

KB: I'll give you two: Rudy Gay and David Lee. All these teams that have endured such pain to create cap space are going to feel the need to overpay someone to come and improve their team. Gay, being a restricted free agent, is very well positioned to get more than he's worth because teams know they have to overpay to force Memphis not to match. With the Knicks unable to get two max free agents and keep Lee (unless they trade Eddy Curry), someone (Phoenix?) will swoop in with an offer Lee can't refuse and try to steal him while the Knicks sort through their options. New York hopes Lee will wait them out and come back to them, but that's a lot to ask.

MM: I think Amir Johnson is a great target for some team looking to add youth and defense, two things coaches can't get enough of. J.J. Redick is going to have to get an answering service, considering he's a reliable three point threat in good condition with solid defense. And Anthony Morrow should get some attention, even as a restricted free agent. He's one of the most accurate shooters in the league, and young as well.

6. Should we expect a lot more cap-related trade movement in the next 72 hours as teams continue to try and pull things off? And if so, do you think Dallas will be one working the phones?

KB: Mark Cuban is never shy about making a big splash, but sign-and-trades are really his only option. He's high on Joe Johnson, and other than the Knicks, Dallas is probably the only team that wouldn't be afraid to pay Johnson max money for six years, entering a new CBA, when he's going to be 34 in Year 6. Beyond the Mavs, the Nets, Bulls and Heat still have more massaging to do if they're going to get the space needed to add the max players they want. Plus, there are a couple of teams that are over the cap to watch closely: Toronto, which has been trying to divest itself of Hedo Turkoglu and Jose Calderon to create cap space to replace Bosh in the event they can't arrange a sign-and-trade, and Utah, which probably isn't going to be a major player but could nonetheless open a world of opportunities by finding someone to take Andrei Kirilenko.

MM: Mark Cuban almost never stays still when there's an opportunity. And even if he misses out, it's unlikely he'll stay out of the game completely. There hasn't been a summer where he hasn't made a significant move to try and improve. Meanwhile, you have to think that some of the teams with assets will start talking to teams that whif on the max guys in an attempt to fleece them in exchange for saving face by landing a marquee player over the summer. That's what's so dangerous about the free agents "teaming up." Not only does it shift power dramatically, but it means a few teams are going to get left in the cold.

7. What's surprised you the most about how this free agency period has developed as we come up on the opening bell tonight?


KB: I'd like to say nothing surprises me anymore, but the sheer volume and pace of information has been impressive. You still can't call this the biggest free-agent class in NBA history, because Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, Reggie Miller, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutumbo, etc., still hold that honor in 1996. But that free-agent summer was covered on paper, and occasionally even on TV. This is wall-to-wall, minute-by-minute, multi-platform madness. It'd be fun, if only I had time to eat.

MM: I'm surprised Shaquille O'Neal hasn't cashed in on all this media coverage by talking about himself more.

8. Henry Thomas has been really straightforward about knocking down speculation on things involving Wade and Bosh, while Leon Rose has been really quiet. Is that more of a strategic decision, or one based on the rift you wrote about inside LeBron's camp?

KB: The rift between Maverick Carter and William Wesley in LeBron's camp is specific to LeBron and doesn't affect Wade or Bosh. I think CAA as a whole has been very shrewd in terms of letting the three clients talk quietly amongst themselves and plot this out as friends, potential teammates, or potential rivals -- depending on how it shakes out. But when it comes to LeBron, the internal pressures and relationships specific to his camp really take on a life of their own.

9. Let's say the Cavs do manage to pull off convincing LeBron to come back. Should we expect them to be active throughout the summer to try and make good on promises to LeBron?

KB: That's the biggest challenge the Cavs face. They've capped and taxed themselves to death trying to make LeBron happy, and so now what do they do to keep him happy? For example, although it appears that Brian Shaw will get the job, they don't even have a coach yet.

MM: I don't know if they can be. No one's taking on Antawn Jamison, with the amount of money and years left on his contract. No one's going to be excited to get Mo Williams. Delonte West's not a top... ahem, target. J.J. Hickson is the only young asset they have and they don't really have any big expirings. Grant's going to have a hard time finding ways to improve on a team that won 61 games last season.

10. The Clippers and Cavs both enter this free agency period without a coach. Do you believe that will impact the decisions of these players at all?

KB: The Clippers will hire either Vinny Del Negro or Dwane Casey, and I'm not sure which top-tier free agent will be rushing to play for either one. Shaw has a chance to be an excellent coach, but it'll be his first rodeo. LeBron waited patiently as Mike Brown matured as a coach and grew into the job, and in the end it was never good enough. So is LeBron willing to do it again? How does playing for Shaw compare to playing for D'Antoni, Riley, Tom Thibodeau, or Avery Johnson? Only he knows the answer to that.

MM: The biggest thing about this free agency period is that you have six teams that are legitimately vying for these guys, so the competition is so high, it's not just about a good offer, or the best available offer. They can demand what they want, and get it. And these guys are going to want stability and someone they can trust and get along with. This uncertainty is a blemish on their face during the biggest beauty pageant they'll ever be in. This should have been handled a month ago.

-MM


Posted on: June 30, 2010 5:03 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2010 5:07 pm
 

The numbers say Stoudemire re-signs

Amar'e Stoudemire may not be leaving Arizona, but he's also going to get his money right now, not later.

As KB puts it to us, Amar'e exercised his opt-out and will become an unrestricted free agent at midnight. The news isn't shocking, even though the Suns have been working with Stoudemire and his agent on a deal for the past 24 hours in an attempt to avoid him going on the open market. Early reports had the initial offer as a four year deal . This is probably why Amar'e chose to opt-out. He's probably still re-signing with the Suns, but realized he could get more by applying leverage through the opt-out.

Need an explanation? Suns blog Bright Side of the Sun has it for you .

Here's how it boils down.

If Amare were to have signed the four year extension being offered, he would have walked away with $103.67 million over the next five years.

If he re-signs with the Suns now that he's opted out he can make $104.04 million for the same length of term (5 years including next season), and wait to try and get the sixth year out of owner Robert Sarver.

If he goes to another team, he's looking at $99.74 million for five years.

So if money is the most important thing to Stoudemire, he'll be back in Phoenix. But the money may not be the important thing if Stoudemire is tired of how the Suns have dangled him over the trade ledge for two season, if he wants a change of scenery, or if he realizes he only has a handful of seasons left with Steve Nash.

There were reports that the Knicks would be meeting with Amar'e tonight after a rumored sitdown with Joe Johnson on the west coast, but ESPN New York is refuting that report today . If teams want to have a talk with Stoudemire, they had better get in the door fast, because it looks like Robert Sarver is serious about keeping STAT.

-Matt Moore


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com