What an intense few days it has been. The Summer of LeBron is proving to be much more intense, overpaid and exciting than I ever thought it would be...and I thought it would get pretty crazy. Teams are locking up players like Amir Johnson and Drew Gooden for more than they're currently worth, hoping for the promise of a good return. Players like Rudy Gay are getting money that players like Kevin Durant will likely be getting, once he inks a new contract.
Heck, even Darko Milicic got a 4 year deal worth $20 million. What's next? New York tears up Eddy Curry's contract and offers him a lucrative extension? Have we all lost our collective minds?
Anyway, I digress. One of the hottest subjects of the past couple days has been whether or not Amar'e Stoudemire will resign with the Phoenix Suns, and if he doesn't, where he'll end up. So, I took the liberty of putting together a visual map of what's been happening with the 8-year All-Star forward. After the jump, you'll find the map, along with helpful links to tweets, reports and other rumors around the web.
Amar'e-palooza, Day One (Pre-Free Agency Bonanza)
This is exactly what everyone expected. Even the most optimistic Suns fans knew he was going to tear up his final year. Nothing really to see here, so we continue along to hear it in Amar'e's own words...
I opted out of my contract with PHX. Can't wait to see what lies ahead. I had a blast with my teammates last season. What's Next !!
Not exactly a ringing endorsement for our beloved Phoenix Suns. From here, the Amar'e supporters started to panic a little. Also of note, the Amar'e haters started foaming at the mouth.
Amar'e-palooza, Day Two (First Official Day of Free Agency)
Here's where the reports and rumors of interest from other teams start flying in. We'll start with Houston.
New developments - Houston Rockets interested in Amare Stoudemire. Would likely be a sign and trade with Luis Scola and Battier if it hapens
We also caught more word on the Amar'e/Suns contract negotiations. Even though Amar'e had opted out of his contract, he was still very open to hearing what the Suns had to offer. We caught word of possible contract offers from various sources:
Taken from Paul Coro's Twitter:
Sources repeatedly say Stoudemire wants to be in Phx. One said he'd take a 5-yr deal if Phx offered it. Maybe at less than max $.
Taken from John Gambadoro's Twitter:
Amare's first choice is to stay in Phoenix. But I am told he won't leave money on the table. Suns offer roughly 4/$84 - Max elsewhere 5/100.
Plus Amare wants 6 yrs from Phx not 5-So unless Phx caves in to demands all it will take is max offer from Mia, NY, Chi or Houst (sign+trd).
So, let's just recap: Amar'e opted out, remained open to the Suns, was reported that he wanted to stay with the Suns, then basically said, "Yeah, I want to stay with you guys, but I want more money than you're willing to give me. Up the ante or I'm out." Sounds about right.
Here's where we catch more wind on the potential suitors. Miami and New York now make themselves known, while it is also reported on several other sites that places like New Jersey, Los Angeles (Clippers), Chicago, and Cleveland could also still make a play for the big man. I find most of those destinations not named Chicago a long shot, but hey...anything can happen.
More on the Amar'e/Suns front:
Here's where things start to get interesting. Many members of the media figured Amar'e to be an afterthought to the LeBron/Wade/Bosh show, but some teams apparently didn't get that memo. Not sure what the truth to this rumor is, but Gambo backed up by tweeting:
It's official-Suns and Amare have broken off all talks after last proposal turned down and there is NO chance he will return to the Phx Suns
Amar'e-palooza, Day Three (Day Two of Free Agency)
It seems the reports that Stoudemire and the Suns are done are actually true. Further information came out about the Suns' last ditch effort to resign the man, and from there, the rest is history. Well, it's not quite history yet, as it hasn't actually happened yet, but it seems all but determined.
Details of the Suns' last contract pitch, quotes from Happy Walters, and more information on the Suns signing Hakim Warrick. All signs point to Stoudemire being gone, which back up the tweets and reports from the night before.
Now it's New York's turn to make a charge at STAT!
Boom! Unless things get crazy, I expect Amar'e to sign with the Knicks. Interesting, given the history between Amar'e and Coach D'Antoni. (Remember how Amar'e threw him under the bus for "not teaching defense"? Yeah. That.)
Note: Thread will be updated at the end of today (July 3rd) with the advances made on Amar'e and his signing with another team.