Published July 03, 2010
NEW YORK (AP) — 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 well.
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.