posted on Oct, 27 2004 @ 09:43 PM
PHOENIX -- Amare Stoudemire, the 2003 NBA Rookie of the Year, had his contract extended Wednesday by the Phoenix Suns who exercised their fourth-year
option on the contract.
Stoudemire will receive $2.6 million in 2005-06 season, then he will be a restricted free agent. That means the Suns will have the right of first
refusal, meaning they could keep him by matching another team's offer.
The 6-foot-10 Stoudemire, who turns 22 next month, was the first player to enter the NBA directly from high school and win its top rookie honor,
beating out Houston's Yao Ming. Stoudemire improved throughout his first season and played a big role in Phoenix's appearance in the 2003 playoffs.
Stoudemire played in every game, averaging 13.5 points and 8.8 rebounds in the regular season. After eye surgery in May 2003, Stoudemire improved in
every category last season, averaging a team-high 20.6 points and 9.0 rebounds. But he sprained an ankle on Dec. 5 and was limited to just 55
The Suns went 7-20 without Stoudemire, and when he returned he led the team in scoring for 11 consecutive games, tying Charles Barkley for the
second-longest such streak by a Suns player.
Stoudemire and teammate Shawn Marion played for the bronze medal-winning U.S. men's team at the Athens Olympics.