The general talk for some time now is that the reason the Suns don’t want to give Amare the six-year max deal he’s seeking is due to his knees and eye injury. A theory reinforced in today’s AZ Republic story.
Most NBA contracts can be insured up to 80 percent of the value so if a player in the middle of a huge, long-term deal can no longer play the team has some protection from what would otherwise be a guaranteed contract that could drag them right to the bottom of the league.
Say for example, Stoudemire who had micro-fracture surgery in 2006, reached the end of that repair’s life when he’s three years into a six year contract. The team would be on the hook for three more years of max salary for a guy they couldn’t trade and couldn’t play and can’t insure. That’s a HUGE risk.
On the other hand, if Stoudemire’s knee’s check out fine (we’re not doctors but we play them on the Web) then this entire thing could just be a smoke screen to avoid the obvious – The Suns don’t feel that Amare is a franchise guy and don’t want to get married to him for another six years.
I don’t believe this is (only) about the money. Even at the max salary, Stoudemire would only be a portion of the total payroll and Sarver understands the need to pay a top tier guy, top tier money.
I just don’t think the Suns believe in Amare enough to invest six full years and the knees and eye make for a convenient excuse because it has plenty of believability.