FRIDAY, 4:41pm: The Heat have officially signed Stoudemire, the team announced. It will be a one-year deal worth $1.5MM, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today tweets. “We are very fortunate that a proven All-Star like Amar’e has chosen the Miami Heat,” said team president Pat Riley. “He is going to bring gravitas, leadership and a hardworking mentality to our team as we look to win another Championship in Miami.”
THURSDAY, 10:53pm: The Heat are believed to be close to a deal with Amar’e Stoudemire, reports Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com, who cites sources (Twitter link). Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald confirmed through an associate of Stoudemire’s that it is indeed the case and that the 13-year veteran would like to play for the Heat, though that associate cautioned that a deal is not yet a given. The Happy Walters client won’t base his decision on money, Jackson hears, a plus for the Heat, who are limited to only their $3.376MM taxpayer’s mid-level exception and are poised to pay repeat-offender tax penalties this season unless they clear some of their salary commitments.
Stoudemire will meet with the Heat on Friday, as Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported (on Twitter), and team president Pat Riley will take part, Jackson notes. Several other teams have apparently been in the mix for the big man, as the Clippers, Rockets, Mavericks, Lakers and Suns all reportedly expressed interest in him as someone who could shore up their respective benches.
Stoudemire didn’t want to go to the Clippers unless he could start, as Chris Broussard of ESPN.com reported, and it seems unlikely he’d start over Chris Bosh or Hassan Whiteside in Miami. Still, Stoudemire apparently had at least some level of mutual interest in the Clippers, as well as the Mavs, Lakers, Suns and Spurs. He was expected to speak with Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers this past weekend, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, who added the Pacers to the list of teams that Stoudemire was eyeing.