NEW YORK — The New York Knicks are
readying their pitch for Amare Stoudemire, while still believing they
have a shot at some other big names.
The Knicks were back in New York on
Saturday after spending the previous two days in the Midwest courting
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Next up is a holiday weekend
meeting with Stoudemire, who appears to be the most likely top free
agent to land in star-starved New York.
Stoudemire wrote on his Twitter page
late Saturday afternoon that he had "just touched down in NY, going to a
Broadway Show tonight."
The Knicks might like him to bring his
act to New York for good.
On his way out of Phoenix after the
Suns agreed to deals with Hakim Warrick and Channing Frye, Stoudemire
has "a structure of an offer on the table" from the Knicks, agent Happy
Walters said Friday. He said the All-Star forward was still talking to
other teams, and wherever he signed would be for the maximum allowed:
five years and about $100 million.
The Knicks may have other options as
As of Saturday, they had not been told
they were out of the running for any players they'd spoken to. They met
with Joe Johnson and Mike Miller in California soon after free agency
opened on Thursday, then went to Cleveland later that day to visit
James. On Friday, they sat down separately with Wade and Bosh, who both
were complimentary of the Knicks' pitch.
Their reactions contrasted with
reports that James wasn't impressed with New York's presentation, which
team president Donnie Walsh dismissed Friday.
"That's not how the presentation felt
to me when I was in it," Walsh told reporters. "No one connected with
his camp said that."
The Knicks spent two years slashing
payroll so they could be buyers this summer, and they have more than $34
million to spend, enough to afford two maximum salary contracts. After
nine straight losing seasons, the pressure is on to get something done.
Perhaps Stoudemire will be the start.
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