The Big Apple gets juicier as another day passes in the NBA free-agent frenzy.
Teams are pulling out all the stops to attract the league’s top free agents, and the Knicks’ administration has been working around the clock to make sure they snag a top player. They may be close.
On Friday evening, ESPN.com reported that the Knicks and Amare Stoudemire are moving closer to inking a five-year, $100 million deal that would bring the former Phoenix Sun to Madison Square Garden. Multiple sources claim that Stoudemire and the Knicks have "the framework of the deal" in place and are sitting down for an in-person meeting on Monday.
Though it was initially assumed that Stoudemire wanted to stay in Phoenix, his agent told The Arizona Republic on Friday afternoon that "it wasn’t the right deal," and that "he'll be sad to leave his teammates and the city he loves, but it's time to move on."
Dwyane Wade was humming a similar tune. He said his meeting with the Knicks on Friday morning in Chicago was "very good," and that he was "intrigued." He even went as far to quote Billy Joel, claiming he was in a "New York state of mind."
Wade also had two meetings with the Chicago Bulls on Friday, and was leaning toward the franchise when he entered the second meeting, but wasn’t as confident when he left.
"It's going to take the weekend for everyone to think about what they want to do," Wade said after the second meeting with the Bulls. "This is not an easy decision to make, and everyone thinks it is."
No matter how difficult a decision it is, players seem to be having fun with all the hype. On Thursday night, with both Wade and Chris Bosh in Chicago for meetings, the two met for dinner, and afterward, Bosh posted a photo of him and Wade with an empty chair between them, tweeting: "Just had dinner w @dwadeofficial. Great way to end day 1 of freeagency although it feels like someone is missing…"
Meanwhile, the King of the hour, LeBron James, is taking meetings in Cleveland. James met Friday with the representatives from the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers. On Saturday, he will meet with the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers. James is being fairly discreet about the whole process, leaving much to the frustrated imagination of the sports media.
So take the weekend to relax, take yourself away from the free-agency coverage and enjoy a hot dog and some sunshine on our nation’s birthday. According to Wade, we have some time to kill.
But come Monday, there will likely be something new to sing about.