Wednesday , Oct , 27 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

That’s Amare: Suns give Stoudemire contract extension

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – The Phoenix Suns Wednesday exercised their
fourth-year option on the contract of forward Amare Stoudemire.

Stoudemire, the 2003 NBA Rookie of the Year, will remain with the team
until the 2005-06 season and will receive $2.6 million the last year before
becoming a restricted free agent. That will mean that the Suns will have the
right of first refusal, which in essence gives the club the chance to keep him
by matching another team’s offer.

Stoudemire was the first player to enter the NBA directly from high school and
win its top rookie honor. He beat out Houston’s Yao Ming to win the award.

“This decision was easy in that Amaré has quickly established himself as a key
part of our team’s bright future and he ranks among the NBA’s best young
talents,” said president and general manager Bryan Colangelo upon the

Stoudemire, who will turn 22 next month, played in every game last season and
was a major contributor in helping the Suns reach the playoffs. He averaged a
team-high 20.6 points and nine boards per game, while also adding 1.6 blocks
and 1.2 steals on .475 shooting in 36.8 minutes per game of action.

However, A sprained ankle limited Stoudemire to 55 games last season and the
Suns went 7-22 without him.

The ninth overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, Stoudemire has averaged 16.3
points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 137 career games with Phoenix.

Stoudemire and teammate Shawn Marion each played for the bronze medal-winning
U.S. men’s team at the Athens Olympics this past summer.