Suns to Make Final Exclusive Proposal Tuesday to Stoudemire
Happy Walters, Stoudemire's agent, said in an interview with FanHouse on Monday morning that Suns owner Robert Sarver and coach Alvin Gentry and possibly others from the team will meet with his client Tuesday in Los Angeles to provide a late pitch for the star Phoenix forward.
Stoudemire can opt out of his contract by Wednesday's deadline, which would make him a free agent Thursday.
"He's willing to listen to see what they have to say,'' Walters said of the meeting.
Stoudemire said earlier this month he likely would opt out of his contract, which means any deal in which he would sign with the Suns would be a new one. But Walters didn't completely rule out the possibility Stoudemire could sign an extension by Wednesday's deadline off the $17.6 million he's due to make next season.
"Anything is possible, but I tend to agree with what (Stoudemire) said several weeks ago,'' Walters said of Stoudemire likely opting out but still keeping alive the possibility of re-signing with Phoenix. "But it can change. So I don't want to say anything until (it's heard what the Suns propose).''
The Suns have not offered Stoudemire a maximum contract. Walters declined to give figures, but said he and the team have gone back and forth on money.
Walters said he'll see what the Suns might offer Tuesday. While Stoudemire has said he deserves a maximum contract, Walters was asked if he only would return to Phoenix if tendered such a deal.
"We don't give absolutes,'' Walters said.
Stoudemire could sign a three-year extension for more than $60 million by Wednesday's deadline if he doesn't opt out. If he does opt out, he could sign as much as a six-year deal for $127 million as soon as July 8.
Walters said Suns general manager Steve Kerr, who won't return to the team after his contract expires Wednesday, will not be a part of Tuesday's meeting.
"We both liked Steve,'' Walters said of he and Stoudemire. "He was doing a good job. But it is a business. But we were disappointed (Kerr is leaving).''
Walters, though, said he doesn't believe Kerr's exit affects the chances of Stoudemire returning to the Suns. Stoudemire has been saying for months his chances of coming back are "50-50.''
"I would still say it's that,'' Walters said.
Barring the Suns locking up Stoudemire at Tuesday's meeting, Stoudemire can begin talking to other teams on Thursday. Walters said no meetings with other teams have been set up but that the process could soon begin.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson