Commentary

One-on-one: Amare to the max

Should Phoenix splurge on Stoudemire to keep him in the Valley of the Sun?

Updated: May 20, 2010, 2:33 PM ET
By Chris Broussard and Ric Bucher | ESPN The Magazine
Amare StoudemireNoah Graham/NBAE/Getty ImagesPhoenix needs to sign Stoudemire to remain a title threat, but his knee could be a ticking time bomb.

The only thing Chris Broussard and Ric Bucher like to do more than report on the NBA is argue about the NBA. So we decided to combine those two skills in our weekly One-on-One series, in which they'll debate the hottest topics in the Association.

Question: Should Phoenix give Amare Stoudemire a max contract?

Chris Broussard: A few months ago, it seemed as if Amare Stoudemire was as good as gone from Phoenix -- if not at the trade deadline then certainly this summer. The Suns weren't ready to pay max money to miss the playoffs or even bow out in the first round year after year. But now that Phoenix has once again risen within the ranks of the West, I believe the Suns should pay Amare the max (or close to it) and keep him in the Valley of the Sun long-term.

Ric Bucher: The Suns' season has turned out far more successful than they ever imagined, and Amare has been a big part of that. But you don't pay players for what they've done; you pay them for what they're going to do. Amare's microfracture-repaired knee is ticking. He's due to have it redone in the next couple of years. To sign him to a max contract is a gamble not worth taking. Not for Phoenix, anyway.

Ric Bucher

NBA Reporter, ESPN The Magazine Senior Writer