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Is Amar'e Stoudemire already in the New York state of mind? (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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.
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...
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.
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:
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.
My thoughts on the Amare / Suns end game
We have reached out to our fellow bloggers to get more information on Warrick.
Warrick played his first four seasons in Memphis, where he was extremely durable. He was drafted 19th in 2005, after four years at Syracuse.
Here's what Allen had to say about Warrick:
As much as I feel your disappointment, you definitely could have ended up with worse than Hakim Warrick for $18 million over 4 years (sent before reports that final year is team option).
In Memphis, Warrick showed that he can really score with decent efficiency in just about any situation. If you think Conley is terrible and the Grizz run a stagnant offense now, just imagine what it was like in 07-08 and 08-09. Even with the team's complete and utter incompetency, Hakim managed to shoot right around 50% from the floor.
He's got the offensive skills of a small forward without three point range; he'll put the ball on the deck, will isolate to get his own jumpshot, and can spot-up shoot from almost anywhere inside the three line. He's not going to shoot quite as well as Amare off the pick and pop, or really score in the post at all, but he brings lots of similar skills to the table.
And of course his best skill is his finishing. Hak Attack goes dunk city with the best of them, and I suspect he'll be about as useful to Steve Nash in the pick and roll as Stat was.
Rebounding and defensively, well, Hak's disastrous. Amare isn't a great at either of things, but Hakim is pretty awful. He's very, very skinny so he gets pushed around in the post, and he relies on his vertical to get the few rebounds he does manage to grab. Fortunately he does apply himself, at least, so I suppose he could improve in the right system and with the right coach. Maybe the key to fixing his defense is dropping into the Suns zone?
Because he tried hard, even on a terrible Grizzlies team, and made flashy plays, Hakim was well liked, and I don't know of a Grizz fan who was happy we didn't bring him back last off-season. Also he was Rudy's best friend, and everybody else on the team seemed to like him too.
As far as Hakim in the Suns' system, like I've hinted at, I think it's really a good fit. You really couldn't have found a more similar player if you tried -- both in abilities and faults. He'll probably be even more useful if you teach him to shoot threes at a respectable clip, like Jared Dudley, but will be helpful right away for between 25 and 30 minutes a game. I would not be shocked at all if he has a career season in Phoenix.
He's really a great platoon starter and was one of the franchise bright spots during the worst times.
Straight Outta Vancouver
[Note by Seth Pollack, 07/02/10 11:14 AM MST ]
Here's a very nice statistical comparison of Hakim Warrick and Tyrus Thomas created by Blog-a-Bull last season after the Bulls acquired Hakim from the Bucks.
Hakim Warrick By the Numbers - Blog a Bull
The numbers suggest Warrick's a slightly better version of Tyrus offensively, and downright awful defensively.
Neither description is particularly good. And that shows up in Adjusted Plus Minus. From 2006-2009, Warrick's -6.40 APM ranked 4th worst in the NBA (Damien Wilkins, Juwan Howard, Eddy Curry) among players who played over 5000 minutes. Warrick's 2008-2009 basketballvalue APM was -5.19, and his current two-year APM stands at -3.62.