In what can be described as the most obvious move of the off-season, Amare Stoudemire has declined his option to opt-out of his New York Knicks contract and will stay with the team through next season.
Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports Stoudemire opted in to the final year of his deal with the Knicks.
As most suspected, New York Knicks power forward Amar’e Stoudemire has declined to exercise his early termination option and will return to the Knicks for the 2014-15 season to finish out the final year of his five-year, $100 million deal, a league source informed CSNNW.com.
“He is opting in,” said the source that spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement has yet to be made. If he had chose to exercise his ETO, he would have become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Why did he make this decision? Stoudemire has $23.4 million coming his way next season. That's a salary he'll likely never see again in the NBA.
Despite the fact he had a re-emergence this season, Stoudemire is in no position to ask for a maximum salary contract from another team. The Knicks are over the salary cap and wouldn't give him a big deal even if they could.
That being said, Stoudemire could fit very nicely into the triangle offense as a center. It wouldn't be crazy to see him earn another contract with the Knicks after this one expires heading into the 2015 free agent period.
That being said, it will be at a greatly reduced rate. Stoudemire's desire to retire with the Knicks and his relationship with owner James Dolan could help him land another contract.
For now he'll be the highest paid Knicks player, as long as Carmelo Anthony opts-out of his contract. If Anthony follows suit and opts-in Stoudemire will be the second highest paid player on the roster.
Interestingly enough, this was Stoudemire's team before Anthony showed up. If Anthony decides to opt-out and sign elsewhere Stoudemire will get his chance to re-claim his throne as the top player on the Knicks. It could give him more of a chance to impress Phil Jackson as well.
That's likely part of the decision for Stoudemire to opt-in for next season. However, don't think for one second this is a loyalty issue. Stoudemire is just trying to get paid and get paid he will.Amare Stoudemire, Basketball, Carmelo Anthony, James Dolan, NBA, New York, New York Knicks, Phil Jackson