Amar'e Stoudemire Opts Out of Phoenix Contract
Earlier Wednesday, there was hope for the Phoenix Suns to hold on to star forward Amar'e Stoudemire before he could opt out of his contract by the end of the day. But soon that hope was gone.
Stoudemire's agent, Happy Walters, confirmed to FanHouse that Stoudemire will opt out of his contract by the deadline at the end of Wednesday and become a free agent Thursday, but didn't offer further comment. Walters had first told Yahoo! Sports his client will opt out of his deal but will continue to negotiate with the Suns.
"The offer isn't where it needs to be yet, but we've had a good open, cordial dialogue with the Suns,'' Walters told Yahoo! Sports about Stoudemire opting out of his $17.6 million deal for next season. "Like Dirk Nowitzki (of Dallas) and Paul Pierce (of Boston), we're exercising the opt out and we'll see what presents itself for Amar'e on the market.''
Earlier in the day, Walters had told FanHouse the sides were still talking and there was still a chance of Stoudemire signing an extension by the end of Wednesday.
"We're trying to reach a happy medium,'' Walters said earlier Wednesday.
Walters and Stoudemire met with Suns owner Robert Sarver and coach Alvin Gentry on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Walters declined to offer details of the meeting to FanHouse and Gentry has not returned messages.
While the Suns apparently haven't offered Stoudemire a maximum contract for the full number of years (six more if he were to opt out, taking him through 2015-16), the Arizona Republic reported, entering Wednesday, that Sarver might be willing to give Stoudemire a four-year maximum contract extension off his current deal if he doesn't opt out.
That would have locked up Stoudemire through 2014-15, and would have resulted in him earning $107 million over the next five years. But by opting out, Stoudemire is likely pushing for a full maximum deal that would pay him in excess of $130 million over six years, taking him through 2015-16.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @christomasson
FanHouse's Sam Amick contributed to this story