Summer Forecast: Where'll Amare be?
No 2010 free agent has more questions surrounding him than Amare Stoudemire:
• How's the eye, after his surgery for a detached retina?
• How's the knee, since his successful recovery from microfracture surgery?
• Do the Suns want to keep him, or will they be happy to see him go and pocket the savings?
• Will he be worth a max contract?
• How do you spell his name, and exactly what is his nickname these days?
Here's how our panel sees the Stoudemire situation playing out:
New York (13 votes)
Once again, as with Chris Bosh, New York appears to be the default destination for free agents, as a quarter of our panelists see Amare landing in the Big Apple and reuniting with Mike D'Antoni.
Phoenix (10 votes)
It's hard for most of our panelists to see the somewhat rocky marriage of Stoudemire and the Suns lasting past next summer. As has been documented, Amare has been shopped by the Suns, who have appeared on the verge of moving him several times, in part because of financial pressures and in part because they are unsure about keeping him as a core member of the team yet are reluctant to lose him for nothing in return.
Meanwhile, Stoudemire has discussed his desire for another max contract and has mentioned several other cities he wouldn't mind playing in, fueling the feeling that he is headed out of town.
Then again, he has expressed a wish to stay in Phoenix, where he has established roots in the community and has been a star on a successful team, and he recently did his part to shoot down a potential trade to Golden State.
We really don't know how all this will go, because as Phoenix president Steve Kerr has said, no decisions will be made until the Suns can see how healthy Stoudemire will be.
Golden State (5 votes)
In some ways, Stoudemire seems a great fit for Don Nelson's go-go offense. Indeed, the Warriors recently tried to acquire Amare. On the other hand, Stoudemire said he didn't want to go to Golden State, and the continued turmoil in that franchise isn't going to help the Warriors change his mind.
Miami (4 votes)
Will Amare take Miami's money? The Heat can offer him the max next summer, and three of our panelists see him teaming up with Dwyane Wade, while one voter sees him joining the Heat with Wade departing.
Also receiving votes: Chicago (3), Detroit (3), Los Angeles Clippers (3), Cleveland (2), Dallas (2), New Jersey (2), Portland (2), Atlanta (1), Orlando (1), San Antonio (1)
Royce Webb is an NBA editor for ESPN.com.
Click below to see our forecast on other top potential 2010 free agents.
Henry Abbott (ESPN.com TrueHoop senior writer), J.A. Adande (ESPN.com senior writer), Kevin Arnovitz (ESPN.com TrueHoop Network editor), Andrew Ayres (ESPN.com NBA editor), Jon Barry (ESPN NBA analyst), Bruce Bernstein (ESPN NBA Studio Production), Alfredo Berrios (ESPN Deportes editor), Dwayne Bray (ESPN Studio Production), Jordan Brenner (ESPN Insider editor), Lisa Brooks (ESPN Stats & Information), Maurice Brooks (ESPN.com NBA editor), Chris Broussard (ESPN The Magazine senior writer), Ric Bucher (ESPN The Magazine senior writer), Michael Bucklin (ESPN Interactive Games), Kevin Calabro (ESPN NBA broadcaster), Kevin Conlon (ESPN Stats & Information), Jay Corbin (ESPN The Magazine editor), Chad Ford (ESPN Insider senior writer), LZ Granderson (ESPN The Magazine senior writer), John Hollinger (ESPN Insider senior writer), Jade Hoye (ESPN Multimedia), Michael Jackson (ESPN Stats & Information), Scoop Jackson (ESPN Page 2 columnist), Avery Johnson (ESPN NBA analyst), Eric Karabell (ESPN.com senior writer), Rob King (ESPN.com editor-in-chief), Seth Landman (ESPN Fantasy basketball writer), Tim Legler (ESPN NBA analyst), Nancy Lieberman (ESPN NBA analyst), Keith Lipscomb (ESPN Fantasy basketball analyst), Patricia Lowry (ESPN NBA Event Production), Mike Lynch (ESPN Stats & Information), Eric Neel (ESPN.com senior writer), Pete Newmann (ESPN Stats & Information), Chris Palmer (ESPN The Magazine NBA writer), Greg Pike (ESPN NBA Studio Production), Chris Ramsay (ESPN.com NBA coordinator), Dr. Jack Ramsay (ESPN NBA analyst), Adam Reisinger (ESPN DB editor), Bob Salmi (ESPN NBA analyst), Chris Sheridan (ESPN Insider senior writer), Marc Stein (ESPN.com NBA senior writer), Patrick Stiegman (ESPN.com VP/Executive editor), Otto Strong (ESPN The Magazine NBA editor), Mark Summer (ESPN NBA Studio Production), David Thorpe (ESPN Insider NBA analyst), Justin Verrier (ESPN.com NBA editor), Bill Walton (ESPN NBA analyst), Royce Webb (ESPN.com NBA editor), Josh Whitling (ESPN Fantasy Basketball writer), Matt Winer (ESPN NBA anchor) and Matt Wong (ESPN.com NBA editor).