Amare will now be dunking for your New York Knicks!!

  

Yes, it has been reported that Joe Johnson is going to stay with the Atlanta Hawks, Paul Pierce is staying with his beloved Boston Celtics and Dirk Nowitzki is going to remain a Dallas Maverick.  

Leave it to the New York Knicks to make the first NBA FREE AGENT splash. And boy did they need to! The Knicks reached an agreement in principle Monday with free agent Amare Stoudemire. The five time All-Star forward will receive a five-year, $99.7 million contract that will reunite him with former coach Mike D’Antoni. The deal cannot be signed until Thursday.  

  

“The fact that Amare really wanted to come here and stepped up front, it got to the point that we had to acknowledge that,” team president Donnie Walsh said. “That means something to us.” Stoudemire commented after making the news official. “I’m definitely going to reach out to him (LeBron James) again and see if we can get him to come. I really have no reading on which way he is leaning at all, but again, he’s totally open right now, he hasn’t made a decision yet, and hopefully I can get him to choose us,” Stoudemire said.  

Stoudemire arrived in New York on Saturday, had breakfast with D’Antoni on Sunday and met with team officials, including owner Jim Dolan, on Monday afternoon.  

Stoudemire had spent his entire career in Phoenix, where he played under D’Antoni before the coach came to New York in 2008. Stoudemire averaged more than 20 points in every season they were together and immediately becomes the best player D’Antoni has coached since leaving the Suns after the 2007-08 season.  

The Knicks desperately needed to come away with something in free agency after spending most of the last two years clearing enough salary-cap space to sign two maximum-contract players. The Knicks believe they are still in the hunt for both LeBron James and /or Dwyane Wade, but Sunday night’s news that James planned to delay making a decision until Wednesday or Thursday helped force their hand in regards to Stoudemire. The agreement effectively removed the Knicks from the pursuit of Chris Bosh, and it significantly reduced the chances of David Lee returning to New York. 

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