*Amar’e Stoudemire will opt out of the final year of his contract if he doesn’t re-sign with the Phoenix Suns before the deadline at the end of this month.
Stoudemire, speaking at his basketball camp Tuesday, said he deserves a maximum contract and would like it to be with Phoenix, where he has played since he was drafted out of high school in 2002. The All-Star power forward said there was “no chance” he would exercise the final year of his contract with the Suns, which would pay him about $17 million.
Phoenix could give him more than any other team — a six-year deal worth about $127 million.
“We’ve got the fans excited about basketball again,” Stoudemire said. “So what I don’t want is for me to have to leave and the fans are now not quite as excited about the game here. I want to keep the hype, want to keep the fans involved, want to keep everybody ecstatic about the Phoenix Suns.”
Stoudemire, who helped the Suns reach the Western Conference finals, can become a free agent on July 1 but indicated he would like to have things settled with the Suns before then.
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