The Amare Stoudemire era in Phoenix appears to be officially over after eight years. The Suns agreed to terms Friday morning with free-agent forward Hakim Warrick on a four-year contract worth up to...

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Clearly, Robert Sarver was not willing to wait around and see another one of their targeted free agents get scooped up by another team as happened to Amir Johnson, who signed a rather large contract (5yrs/$34m) with the Raptors yesterday.

Nor did he want to see the price for their guy continue to be driven up as this crazy free agent market got even more desperate, as the big cap space team were left scrambling to fill their rosters.

The impatient Sarver struck fast this morning, coming to terms with 5-year power forward Hakim Warrick. According to Yahoo!, the deal is 4 years/$18m, however KTAR's Gambo reports the final year is a team option, making it a 3yr/$12m deal with the 4th not guaranteed.

$4.5m per year isn't a huge hit to the payroll and the three years isn't too large of a commitment for a guy who's roughly a 10-point, 4-rebound, 20-minute backup. 

This likely is further indication that Amare isn't coming back (no surprise), but the deal isn't so large that it precludes the Suns from doing a sign-and-trade with another team like Houston if that option comes up. But the Suns couldn't afford to wait and see IF Houston wanted Amare and IF Amare wanted Houston and IF the Suns could agree to terms with Houston and IF Luis Scola could agree to a new contract the Suns were willing to accept. That's a lot of IFs.

We'll have more on Warrick soon, but my recollection of him is of an athletic power forward with a decent mid-range game. Not known as a defender or rebounder, one could imagine a platoon of guys getting minutes on the Suns front line as opposed to one guy who can both score, defend and rebound.

The Suns, wisely, won't try and replace Amare with one guy but will have a group approach and seek a longer term "star" solution down the road. Given the options at power forward in this market, that's the best approach.

Gut reaction, I like the deal. It was decisive and fills a roster need without making a long or large commitment that will limit flexibility to go after better players should those opportunities arise.

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Efreeagencymap

A visual guide to the moves and rumors surrounding Amar'e Stoudemire's free agency bonanza. Will be updated daily, until a final contract is reached. Wherever that may be.

(Click here for full size image)


Recapping Amare's Difficult 1st Day As A Free Agent

It really is harder than you might think as the pictures show...


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