NBA Free Agency: Knicks Sign Amar'e Stoudemire, Where's LeBron James Going?

JunHee LeeContributor IJuly 6, 2010

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 24:  Amare Stoudemire #1 of the Phoenix Suns reacts to a foul during Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the NBA Playoffs against the Portland Trail Blazers on April 24, 2010 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. The Blazers defeated the Suns 96-87. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Knicks have officially agreed upon a free agent agreement with Amare Stoudemire on a contract worth almost 100million for 5 years.

My guess is that the Knicks must know whether LeBron's choice is NY or other cities that recruited him.  I believe they have a strong reason to think James is coming to New York.  Here's my reasoning.

Reports have been saying that Knicks had made progress with Amare and the deal was on the table. It was, however, said to be contingent upon LeBron's decision.  The offer was going to be off if LeBron chooses NY and wants to bring his handpicked teammate, say Chris Bosh.  Now the Knicks have gone ahead and made an agreement. 

Maybe Knicks were scared of being shut out in this summer and wanted to get at least one elite FA when they can.  But if you think about it, it was almost an one horse race for Amare.  He's had meetings with other teams but only Knicks made a serious offer to him.  He also wanted to come to New York knowing that Knicks were the only one willing to take a risk on his once fragile body.  So what's the hurry when there was very little competition?  Surely the Knicks could have waited until LeBron's decision?

There was that second meeting.

Knicks executives and LeBron's agents had an extra meeting after all the teams made their one time appeal to LeBron himself.  It was supposedly about salary caps and contract offer to Amare.  Until that second meeting, offer to Amare was just that, an offer.  Now it is an agreement.  Knicks brass must have gotten some hint from that meeting.  If they got any negative vibe about Amare, Knicks would have held off on the agreement.

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Chicago can't give him the scoring power inside unless they trade Deng which will be extremely hard or sign David Lee who LeBron never seemed too interested. And what if Wade signs with Chicago first?  Then he can't even go to Miami, where it is so barren at the moment.

He could take Bosh to New Jersy but Bosh didn't seem so interested in going there. 

He could stay in Cleveland which is probably the right thing to do that is if he has enough confidence in himself that he can win with whichever surrounding cast given to him, without future draft picks and cap room.

By Knicks signing Amare and Joe Johnson staying with Hawks, LeBron is getting squeezed.  His choices are dwindling.

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