Amar’e Stoudemire, Knicks Reach Deal

Amar’e Stoudemire has decided to leave the Phoenix Suns and reunite with former coach Mike D’Antoni in New York. Stoudemire’s agent, Happy Walters, said the Knicks will give the 27-year-old power forward a maximum contract of five years worth nearly $100 million.

Appearing before the media in a Knicks cap, Stoudemire said he hopes to convince another marquee free agent to move to the Big Apple. New York has enough salary cap space to get one more high-profile free agent. Earlier this week, the Knicks management had talks with LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. Stoudemire, who played his firs eight years in the NBA with the Suns, said he is looking forward to leading the Knicks back to the top of the league after years of mediocrity.

Stoudemire’s move to New York, where he will be working again with former Suns coach D’Antoni, became clear when Phoenix reached a deal with forwards Hakim Warrick and Channing Frye. Stoudemire was the ninth overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, where the Knicks passed up on the then-out of high school future Rookie of the Year by selecting Nene Hilario, whom New York eventually shipped to Denver for Antonio McDyess.