As expected all along, Amare Stoudemire is opting out of the final year of his contract.
This takes the possibility of an extension with the Suns off the table.
Amare will now listen to offers from other teams and perhaps bring those back to the Suns to see if they are willing to match.
It remains unclear if the Suns offered Amare a four-year extension (for a total of five years) which would have paid him about $104m as opposed to about $100m he can get with a new team.
If so, than Amare and his agent must think they can get another team to offer a six-year deal and put together a sign-and-trade package that entices the Suns.
In the short term, those details don’t matter. In the long run the offer that Robert Sarver made to Amare will be a strong indication of how bad the Suns really wanted him to stay and what they felt his value was to the team.
A three-year extension offer (total of four years) means the Suns never expected him to stay.
A four-year extension offer (total of five years) means the Suns are trying to get the best possible deal as they still hold the cards and can prevent Amare from getting a six-year deal.
In the mean time, Amare will join LeBron and the other group of highly valued free agents in the scrum that begins tomorrow.
For more on which teams have how much cap space to spend on free agents see this excellent break down from SB Nation.com.