The NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement is a strange animal. There's so many rules that's its hard to keep it all straight - which is why Sarver said that one of the top "skills" a new GM must have is working understanding of the CBA.
From the best I can gather, by reading Coon's FAQ on it, is this:
If the Suns have truly offered 5 total years (4-yr extension on top of next year's option year), then they have beaten the market by 4 mil.
Suns (before OR after opting out): about $104 mill for 5 yrs
Other teams: about $100 mil for 5 yrs
Keep reading for more detail.
Here are the rules that matter:
So, these are his options, as far as I can tell (assuming 5 years total, from both Suns and other teams).
Extension (only available TODAY, 6/30, because this is his opt-out deadline):
NEW Suns contract, with Bird Rights, starting 7/1 and later:
NEW contract from a DIFFERENT team, starting 7/1 and later:
Strangeness? A new Suns contract for 5 years is slightly better than a 4-yr extension on next season. So, given a 5-yr committment, he's financially better off re-signing with the Suns AFTER today.
Don't be surprised when Amare opts out, even if he still wants to re-sign with the Suns.
Paul Coro, this morning calling in to KTAR, said that the Suns and Amare were most likely laying ground work for a new contract to be signed AFTER tonight, than they were in trying to get an extension done today.
If Amare agrees to the extension today (he doesn't have to actually sign it till next spring but if he doesn't opt-out he's still committed to the Suns and off the market), then you know Sarver and Gentry are good salesmen and Amare really never wanted to entertain other offers at all.
If Amare opts out today, that doesn't mean the Suns are out of the picture as long as they're now willing to go 5 years. On 5 years, the Suns can still offer more money than anyone else. Amare might just want his ego stroked a little (he's never been on the market before) before re-signing. Kind of like Dirk in Dallas. And Paul Pierce in Boston. They just opted out yesterday, but still figure to re-sign with their teams. Getting wooed can be fun, I guess.